Eleven family members found dead in Delhi home

Eleven members of a family were found dead in India's capital on Sunday, majority hanging from the ceiling of their home, blindfolded, gagged and with hands tied behind the back, with police unable to offer any concrete explanation about what happened.

Police in Delhi are exploring whether the deaths of 11 members of a family in Burari were under the influence of "spiritual practices" after some handwritten notes were discovered in the house.

"Coincidentally, these notes have strong similarity with the manner in which the mouths, eyes etc of the deceased were tied and taped", it added.

The family had lived in the house for more than two decades, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported.

"10 of the 11 family members were found hanging when we reached the house".

Police said there were no bullet marks on the bodies of seven women and four men.

It is near to where three people were killed and several injured in a shootout between two gangs just two weeks ago, but police said there was no apparent link.

The two brothers who live together in the Sant Nagar area in joint family-run businesses of furniture and grocery store in the neighbourhood. On Sunday morning, a neighbour, who used to purchase milk from their shop everyday at 6 a.m., found it closed. He raised an alarm and people called the police.

"I saw the bodies hanging, stools lying around, and my wife's aunt sprawled on the floor by the bed". NDTV reported that it was suspected that one of the family members killed the rest and then committed suicide.

Police said the family included the woman, her two sons and their wives, a daughter and grandchildren. "These are murders", he said.

New Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who visited the scene, called the incident "tragic".

"That the dog did not bark reinforced the police suspicion of murder", the broadcaster said, citing sources.

In a video posted on Twitter by Kejriwal's ruling party, the neighbours are heard telling Kejriwal that the family was busy with wedding preparations.

News agencies quoted an unnamed police officer as saying a probe will be conducted to find "if the family indulged in occult practices" or they followed "any godman".

Police official Rajesh Khurana told reporters that all angles were being investigated. "It is an ongoing investigation and we haven't ruled out anything".

  • Rogelio Becker