Days after 11 members of a family were found hanging at their home in Burari, the Delhi Police Crime Branch Wednesday said they have recovered CCTV footage from a night before the incident, which shows two of the victims — Savita and her daughter Nidhi — carrying stools inside their home. Soon after, the teenagers, Shivam and Dhruv, can be seen entering their plywood shop on the ground floor to pick up a bundle of telephone wires.
Police sources said the footage was recovered from a camera installed in a neighbouring house. On Sunday morning, the bodies of Narayani Devi (77), her sons Bhuvanesh (50) and Lalit (45), daughters-in-law Savita (48) and Teena (42), daughter Pratibha (57), and grandchildren Priyanka (33), Nidhi (25), Maneka (23), Dhruv (15) and Shivam (15) were found gagged, blindfolded and hanging in the hallway. The family ran a grocery and plywood shop on the ground floor.
Police sources claimed that while five stools were used by nine of victims, Pratibha, who was found hanging from the window grill, used a smaller one. Police said the stools seen in the footage are similar to the ones found near the bodies.
“The footage also shows that no one entered the house from 10.57 pm on Saturday till the next morning. At 10.39 pm, a delivery boy is seen leaving the house. At 10.57 pm, Bhuvanesh enters the house with the dog,” said a police officer. Police said that as per the footage, a van stopped outside the house at 5.56 am Sunday, and the driver and helper offloaded milk trays and bread before leaving by 6.03 am.
Police said the house has no other entrance apart from the main gate. “But there is another entry to the house from the terrace, which is connected to the next house. We are looking into whether anyone entered the house this way,” added the officer.
While police had initially registered a murder case, the preliminary post-mortem report had stated that the victims died of hanging. Police said they are awaiting the viscera report, which could establish if they were poisoned. A senior police officer said they have recovered at least 11 notebooks from the house. The entries start from September 2007, soon after the death of Devi’s husband the same year. Police said Lalit had told his family members that his father’s soul would enter his body and advise him on steps for a good life.
With police also probing the significance of 11 pipes protruding from the house, the contractor who was hired to renovate the premises said they were meant for ventilation. “The family had asked us to provide ventilation for the house. We made holes on the wall near the stairs to fix the pipes… we never counted the number of pipes; it was a coincidence that there were 11,” said Kunwarpal (68).