Mumbai: Family's suicide videos were scripted and shot like films

Feb 24, 2015, 07:22 IST | Shiva Devnath

After a family of four was found hanging in Andheri (West), the police concluded that not only had they pre-planned their deaths, but they even planned their suicide videos meticulously

Cops investigating the mysterious suicide of a family of four in Andheri (West) uncovered yet another twist in the case the deceased had scripted and shot their suicide videos in a planned manner, almost like amateur films.

Siblings Bharti Pal and Somnath Kartik Pal were found hanging at their employer’s flat in Oshiwara on Friday night. Their mother and stepfather were found dead in their Lokhandwala flat the next day

While watching the video clips, it dawned upon the police that all the family members kept looking down toward their hands, as if reading from a script, and the video was shaky, as if someone else was recording it.

This is just one more eerie detail that the police have found since brother-sister duo, Bharti Pal (25) and Somnath Kartik Pal (20) were found hanging in an Oshiwara flat on February 20, and their mother (Sikha Pal) and stepfather (Manoj Ajitkumar Patel) were found similarly dead in their flat in Lokhandwala on the next morning.

Also Read: Family leaves suicide note and Rs 50,000 for cops!

Yesterday, this paper had reported that the family had also left behind Rs 50,000 in cash, along with a note that clearly said, “Rs 50,000 for the police”.

Six-month plan?
While the police already suspected that the four suicides were pre-planned, it is possible that the plan was six months in the making. Earlier, cops had found one suicide note written by Bharti and three suicide videos from the other three deceased.

Now, they have found a fourth video that was recorded by Bharti, and on further scrutiny of her original letter, they concluded that it was written six months ago. The police are still trying to unlock Bharti’s password-protected phone.

“The phone is crucial as it may contain more such videos or clues about people she had spoken to before taking the extreme step along with her family members,” said a police officer. They found all four suicide videos on another mobile phone kept near her mother’s body.

In the videos, the deceased addressed the local assistant commissioner of police, and gave their reasons for suicide. The investigating officer, PI Mahadeo Wavale from Oshiwara police station, said, “The videos are not selfies; it is clear that the four had shot each other’s videos.”

Fifth horseman
Currently, the police are searching for the scripts of all four videos and are also scoping the possibility of a fifth person involved, who may have instigated the family members to commit suicide. It may be recalled that Bharti and her brother had both accused their employer, one Tinku Singh, of sexually assaulting her, and blamed him for their deaths.

They were both found hanging in Singh’s home, where they worked as live-in housekeepers. Singh was then arrested for molestation and abetment of suicide. “They all had a paper note in their hand and were reading from it. It is very clear that they all had separate suicide notes prepared, and this seems to be the work of someone who was known to the four and is well versed in English.

Now we have set up a search in both the flats again, to locate the suicide notes. This will definitely reveal whether a fifth person was involved in the case,” said PI Wavale. The police is also retrieving the Call Details Records (CDR) of the four to cross-check common contact numbers, which can further help them unearth suspects.

'Like family'
In his statement to the police, the accused, Tinku Singh, told the police that Bharti and her brother had been living with his family since they were children. He said he saw them as his brother and sister and did not sexually assault Bharti or beat her brother.

While Bharti had alleged in her suicide note that Singh had proposed marriage to her, he said, instead, that she was insecure and would harass him to marry her.

In addition, he said that the deceased family was quite close to his family and they all lived in the same building in Lokhandwala until five years ago. Even then, the deceased family would often visit Singh’s family and share meals together, he added.

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