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Burari Deaths: Family and Police Clarify 10 Unanswered Questions

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Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam

The shocking and mysterious deaths of 11 members of a joint family in Delhi’s Burari has opened a can of worms with new insights on the case emerging everyday. On 2 July, 10 members were found hanging and one on the bed – suspected to have taken their lives. However, the victim’s family is refuting the police’s theory of suicide.

The Quint, in a telephonic interview, spoke to the only surviving son of the family, Dinesh Chundawat, who is currently in his ancestral village, Sawa in Chittorgarh, Rajasthan, completing the last rites of his family members.

"The police is not telling us anything except that the investigation is on. Only media reports are claiming suicide." - Dinesh Chundawat,  Narayan Kaur’s son

Chundawat clarifies 10 questions, significant to the case. We also factored in the police’s version of every question, based on our conversation with Chundawat.

Here is what we gathered.

1. Not Suicide, No Superstition "We don’t think it’s suicide or it is based on superstition. Somebody else is involved but we don’t know who that is." - Dinesh Chundawat,  Narayan Kaur’s son

Police’s Version

"We are not saying it is suicide. The diary reveals they didn’t want to die. Family organised an engagement function on 17 June. Till 24 June, guests were present at their home. They were preparing for a marriage. We have also spoken to a lot of people to whom they spoke over the phone. Everybody was happy." - Senior Investigative Officer

Why did they hang themselves?

They just wanted to do some puja. And the process of going about it is written in the diary, that they have to get blindfolded, tie their hands, and then hang themselves. Had we not recovered the diary then probably cracking this case would’ve been difficult. We have been waiting for the post-mortem report to get clarity on whether there was any kind of struggle before they died.

How is it possible that 11 of them agreed to kill themselves and no one objected?

Apparently, that’s what has happened. But we are currently investigating a case of murder till them we gather enough evidence to prove suicide.

2. Never Heard of Maa Geeta Or Any Tantrik "I never heard of Maa Geeta. My family never told me about any tantrik. Had I known about any tantrik from my family members then I would’ve certainly informed the crime branch police. I even checked with the neighbours; they never saw any tantrik visiting my house as well." - Dinesh Chundawat,  Narayan Kaur’s son

Police’s Version

"We have questioned Geeta. Nothing to suggest that she is connected with the case." - Senior Investigative Officer3. On CCTV Footage Showing Family Members Carrying Stools "I saw two family members carrying stools in the CCTV footage. Let’s agree that Lalit Singh was behind all this, but did the others also prepare their nooses themselves? Even if Lalit was planning the suicide, is it possible that none of the others protested?My niece (Priyanka) was a very strong person who had the strength to chase both of her uncles and beat them up. She was very bold." - Dinesh Chundawat,  Narayan Kaur’s son4. On Lalit’s Diary: The Family Allegedly Scripted the Suicide "The crime branch had called me but nothing was written in the diary about committing suicide. I have not read the diary minutely nor was I in a condition to do so. The police showed me two lines which mentioned a ritual. I have not yet read about suicide in the dairy. If it is there, then only the crime branch knows about it. I did not read about it nor did the police disturb me, considering my state of mind." - Dinesh Chundawat,  Narayan Kaur’s son

Police’s Version

"In the diary they have written how to go about the suicide, and we also informed Dinesh Chundawat about it. " - Senior Investigative Officer5. Not Lalit’s Handwriting In Diary "From whatever I have seen, it doesn’t look like Lalit’s handwriting. His handwriting is very bad. I have told the police to take the exercise books of others and compare the handwriting as soon as possible." - Dinesh Chundawat,  Narayan Kaur’s son

Police’s Version

"We are not saying that the diary has Lalit’s handwriting. The handwriting could be of any other family member. Whatever was written in the diary was said by Lalit when he was possessed by his father’s spirit." - Senior Investigative Officer6. 11 Pipes Just a Coincidence "I am a civil contractor and I had only suggested to Lalit that ventilation is required in the house. That part of the house is very dark and windows cannot be put there because it overlooks somebody else’s plot. That’s why I suggested Lalit to make holes on the wall as long as the plot next door is unoccupied and to close the holes if the plot owner objects. At least for a couple of years we would get light and fresh air. So Lalit told the mason to place pipes. Now the mason placed pipes wherever he could make holes or access. According to me, neither Lalit nor the mason counted the number of pipes placed there. Can spirits only pass through pipes?" - Dinesh Chundawat,  Narayan Kaur’s son

Police’s Version

"We rule out any connection between pipes and deaths. We have spoken to the mason who put those pipes on the wall. He clarified it was put for ventilation and light. " - Senior Investigative Officer7. Lalit Possessed By His Father’s Spirit "I have only heard about my brother being possessed by my father’s spirit from the media. I have never seen my brother being possessed nor have I heard about any such incident from my family members. The police are not telling me anything except that the investigation is underway." - Dinesh Chundawat,  Narayan Kaur’s son

Police’s Version

"I know Dinesh Chundawat is not aware of this and I don’t know why he was not informed about it by the family. We got to know about this from Lalit’s wife, Tina’s family member and also from the neighbours. We have recorded their testimonies. " - Senior Investigative Officer8. Mother Was Not Religious "My mother never lit an incense stick in the temple at home. She would recite the Hanuman Chalisa and Durga Paath on being asked to do so by the other members. Everybody else in the family was religious. Children in the house used to pray before going to school." - Dinesh Chundawat,  Narayan Kaur’s son9. Lalit Was Not Mentally Ill But Intelligent "The media is misreporting. Between the three brothers, Lalit was the most intelligent." - Dinesh Chundawat,  Narayan Kaur’s son

Police’s Version

"I don’t have anything now to confirm this. We are waiting for experts’ opinion. " - Senior Investigative Officer10. It Was A Happy Family, Preparing for an Upcoming Wedding "I had recently stayed with my family in Delhi for five days. On 17 June, my niece got engaged and I attended the event with my wife and children. The engagement was done with a lot of fanfare and Lalit bore all the expenses. Everything was normal, everybody was happy." - Dinesh Chundawat,  Narayan Kaur’s son

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