The Burari deaths is the name given to the harrowing event that saw the deaths of eleven members of the same family in 2018.
All eleven members of the Chundawat family were found dead in their house, with 10 of them having been found hanged. This was in an apparent mass suicide, potentially linked to the occult.
It isn’t entirely known what the exact events were that led to the family’s demise. However numerous theories have been put forward.
The event shocked the world. Not only did it gain national coverage, but the case also received international interest. Sadly, the interest is somewhat morbid.
Please note that this article contains a graphic description of death. Please consider navigating to a different page if such descriptions will be distressing.
The Chundawat family resided in the area of Burari, which was part of Delhi, in India. They were a highly-respected family in the area, and were well-known for owning a local grocery store.
The family were made up of three generations. The eldest members were Narayani Devi (80 at the time of her death) and Bhopal Singh. Singh passed away in 2006, with the rest of the family remaining living.
Narayani had two sons – Bhuvnesh (50) and Lalit (45). They were married to Savita (48) and Tina (42) respectively. They also had a daughter named Pratibha (57).
There were five grandchildren. Priyanka (33), Nitu (25), Monu (23), Dhruv (15), and Shivam (15). There was one other grandchild – though they had left the house in the years prior to the fateful events.
Following the death of Singh in 2006, Lalit Chundawat – the patriarch of the family – became different. He stated that he was possessed by his father’s soul. He even maintained a diary that provided a list of the instructions that Singh had ostensibly given him.
On the morning of 1st July 2018, suspicions aroused that something may be amiss as the grocery store that the Chundawat’s operated had not opened at 6am as usual.
Sickeningly, by this time, eleven people had died. The grisly discovery was made by a neighbour, who had entered the door of the property which had been left open. After finding the bodies, emergency services were called, but it was too late.
Ten of the eleven family members were found hanging. All had been blindfolded with cloth, with their mouths also taped. Their hands were tied behind their backs. They were found hanging from a mesh netting fixed to their roof.
The ten bodies were all together. There were five stools found in proximity to the bodies. Investigators deduced that two people would have shared each stool, before tragically dying, once the stool was removed. The grandmother of the family, Narayani, was found strangled in a separate room.
What was the reason behind the deaths?
The investigation into the case had the initial theory that there had been some form of mass suicide. There were suggestions that the deaths could have been a form of ritualistic murders, or linked to the occult.
The deaths have largely been tied to the father of the family, Lalit Chundawat. Chundawat was clearly suffering from some form of mental illness – with delusions seemingly playing a major part in this.
It seems that Lalit believed that his father’s soul had entered his body. Lalit apparently believed that his dead father was trying to lead the family to salvation. In fact, Lalit had long-had this belief.
Investigators found that “instructions” supposedly from Lalit’s father had been written down for many years. Investigators found 11 diaries in the Chundawat residence, each of which had been filled out for 11 years. The diaries represented a very eerie finding.
The diaries detailed how all 11 family members were to die, including details on how the bodies were to be hanged, the manner in which the bodies should be found and other handwritten notes.
Tragically, it seems that the diaries also point to the idea that the family did not believe they were going to die. The diaries said that once the ritual is complete, that “everyone will help each other untie their hands”. Another entry said that “the human body is temporary”.
The Grandmother Narayani was also alluded to in the diaries. The diaries suggested that “the elderly woman can’t stand so she can lie down in another room”. This is consistent with how Narayani was found dead away from the others.
Moreover, an autopsy found that none of the dead showed any signs of struggle, leading investigators to presume that all family members were aware what they were doing. Another entry said “one will not die”, but instead attain something “great”.
This led investigators to conclude that the Chundawat family expected to see Lalit’s father Bhopal immediately after hanging themselves. They seemed to believe that Bhopal would save them and lead them to eternal salvation.
A few different theories have been put forward to explain what could have happened:
Theory: Murder by a third party
There have been some suggestions that someone outside of the family could have killed the family by forcing them to hang themselves.
It isn’t clear what the motive behind this could be, but it is a possibility. All valuables and jewellry remained on their persons, seemingly suggesting that robbery could not have been the case.
Theory: Murder by Lalit
Some believe that Lalit could have intentionally orchestrated the deaths himself. He may have been planning on taking his own life, only to decide to kill the others as well.
However, the diaries kept by Lalit and his behaviour seem to point towards a different idea. The family were also said to be happy – making this unlikely, albeit possible.
Theory: Shared Psychotic Disorder
Shared psychotic disorder is a rare condition that involves one person going through a period of psychosis, which is eventually shared by family members.
Lalit Chundawat was believed to be suffering from delusions. He may have managed to convince his family members to follow his lead, with the ongoing belief that Bhopal would lead them to salvation.
Theory: Mass suicide
While the family seemed to be happy, there is always a chance that all family members had a reason to die – there could have been deep sadness in the family.
While this seems unlikely given the circumstances, it is a potential explanation of what happened. While rare, there have occasionally been cases of mass suicides.
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The deaths of the Chundawat family are deeply disturbing and tragic. It is likely that we will never truly know what happened in the closing hours of their lives. Whatever did happen, it was a harrowing event – and one that led to 11 deaths.
There is always the chance that salvation did occur – and that they are potentially living happily ever after in the afterlife. But regardless of this, we will never know what happened. May they all Rest in Peace.