Burari, a small town in North Delhi, India, witnessed a normal family perish. A family of eleven, all dead; under strange circumstances.
The events, however, that led to the deaths of the Chundawats were mysterious and proved that what appears to be a normal family could be bizarre and strange inside.
This is the story known as the “Burari case”
1 July 2018
Gurucharan Singh, a close friend of Lalit Chundawat was waiting for him at Jagatpur Park.
The two friends met every day here for a morning walk but today Lalit was nowhere to be seen.
Gurucharan took his morning walk alone and headed back home.
While walking back to his home, Gurucharan noticed that Lalit’s Grocery store was still not opened. It was very unusual.
Gurucharan decided to pay Lalit a visit and make sure he’s okay.
Gurucharan reached the Chundawat residence and he knocked on the main door. Nobody answered. He knocked again; still, nobody answered.
The Chundawats were eleven people living under the same roof. The house was always filled with sounds of laughter, conversation, and laughter. But today it was eerily silent.
When Gurucharan tried the front door’s handle, he found that the door was unlocked.
As the door swung open, he witnessed something so shocking that he almost lost his senses.
In the hallway, the ten members of the Chundawat family were dead and hanging from the ceiling.
The bodies were close together in a circular formation.
Gurucharan’s cries alerted the neighbors.
The Police arrived at 7:30 am.
What happened to the Chundawats?
The investigators began their examination and couldn’t figure out what exactly happened.
The obvious thought that could come to one’s mind would be a case of robbery and murder. But it was dismissed as they found all the valuables and cash in their own places; even the ornaments on the victims’ bodies were untouched.
Then the Police and everyone else concluded that this was a case of mass suicide.
Things became more suspicious for a number of reasons.
The way the bodies were found suggested that there was someone else involved in it.
Each of the members had their hands tied behind their back. Further, their face and eyes were wrapped with cloth, cut from the same sheet. Their ears were stuffed with cotton wool.
The Police discovered the body of the grandmother in another room. It looked like she was strangled. At least one of them was murdered.
The Police also discovered that there were recipes and ingredients ready for the breakfast. Even the places were set too.
Why the Chundawats would be preparing breakfast if they were planning to commit suicide?
Relatives, neighbors, and friends insisted that Chundawats can’t commit suicide as they were happy and full of life.
But the CCTV footage contradicted all of their claims.
The Police saw in the CCTV footage, which was captured by the security cameras, that the family took ropes and stools into the house just before their deaths. It indicated that they could be responsible for their own deaths.
It was then when the Police found eleven diaries that belonged to the Chundawats.
The notes in the diary contained stories of the Chundawats’ gradual descent to madness.
The eleven diaries painted a picture that revealed the family’s secretive and dark side.
The Chundawat Family
The story begins with Bhopal Singh.
Bhopal Singh, a family man moved from Rajasthan to Delhi in the year 1989. He sold off his large plots and came to Burari. He invested in a house and started a business. He had five children; three sons (Dinesh, Lalit, and Bhuvnesh) and two daughters (Sujata and Pratibha)
Bhopal Singh came with his wife, Narayani and his son Lalit.
He started a small business of selling plywood.
Things started to look up and in the year 1993, Pratibha and Bhuvnesh also moved to Burari with their own families.
Over the next ten years, they were twelve members living under the same roof and their business flourished.
One important thing about Bhopal Singh was that while he was alive, he ruled over his family. His words were law and all the family members never questioned or threatened his decisions in any way.
In the year 2007, Bhopal Singh passed away and the family business suffered terribly.
Lalit, the youngest son of Bhopal Singh, was hit very hard by the sudden tragedy. He already had personal problems and had a very disturbed personal life.
Lalit suffered an accident that changed his life while his father was alive. In the year 2004, he was alone in the plywood shop where few goons robbed the shop. The goons not only stole all the money but also buried Lalit under a pile of plywood panels and set them on fire.
Lalit escaped the fire alive and unscathed but he suffered mentally. He lost his voice because of that incident.
Lalit didn’t even say a single word even when Bhopal Singh died.
Bhopal Singh came back!
After Bhopal Singh died, the family members performed a puja and were chanting “Garuda Purana.” Lalit suddenly started chanting with everyone else.
The family instantly started to chant that their father has returned.
They believed that their father’s spirit has returned and was channeling through Lalit.
Soon the Chundawats got their fortune back. Lalit was a different man; confident and authoritative. He told many of his friends that his father came to his dreams and asked him to perform another puja.
Soon the family got back on their feet and became more spiritual. They gathered and prayed 30 minutes twice every day; one in the morning and one in the evening.
Lalit became the leader of the family and his words became the law of the house. He ordered every one of the family members to keep their practices secret.
The Chundawats became more introvert and withdrawn. Their business flourished and expanded.
The Chundawats believed that the success was due to his father’s help who passed instructions to Lalit in his dreams.
The Police discovered entries by Lalit that were related to a ritual. The ritual was meant to be performed on the 30th of June, 2018. Eleven years after Bhopal Singh died.
Lalit was clearly in the front and center of this tragic incident.
But is it possible for someone to manipulate eleven people to kill themselves?
There is a condition called, “Shared Psychotic Disorder” where a delusional person can pass his delusions on to others.
If the person is convincing and charismatic enough in his/her beliefs, they can condition or manipulate a large number of people to place honest and absolute trust in them.
Did the Chundawats suffer from Shared Psychotic Disorder?
Or is there something else; something more sinister?
Bhopal Singh’s granddaughter, Priyanka, was engaged to be married and she mentioned this in her diary. She invited her friends and even given her clothes to be washed.
The teenagers in the family were planning for a cricket match on the following day.
Further, I mentioned it earlier the family was also preparing breakfast in the kitchen.
So the question remains: Did they know they were going to die?
Police also found that the feet of Shivam and Dhruv (Lalit’s son and Bhuvnesh’s son) were touching the floor. They were possibly murdered and their bodies were hung later.
There could be so many theories on the mysterious deaths of the Chundawats.
One thing was certain that Lalit was the prime suspect.
The ritual that Lalit performed is still a mystery.
One of the instructions of the ritual was to leave the front door unlocked.
And finally, there is the number, 11.
11 family members keeping 11 diaries for 11 years after their father died. The ritual resulted in 11 deaths. Their house had 11 iron bars above the front door, which was left unlocked.
No matter how you look at it, it is a tragic waste of 11 lives.
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