New Delhi: The maggot-infested body of a nuclear scientist was found in a Pusa Institute quarters on Friday. Police said his “mentally disturbed” siblings were by his side, oblivious of his death despite a foul smell emanating from the decomposing corpse.
The police said the post-mortem has not been carried out so far due to unavailability of any other relatives who can give consent. They said they would wait for relatives to come in the next 72 hours. It is suspected that Sood died of malnutrition around three-four days ago. His two younger siblings, Harish and Kamla, are both said to be mentally disturbed, Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Vijay Kumar said.
On Friday, the police were informed by the field officer of the Pusa Institute about a foul smell emanating from one of the quarters on the campus. The neighbours had noticed the foul smell earlier but did not raise an alarm. It was only Thursday when the stench became unbearable that one of them alerted their guard, who in turn informed the field officer.
The field officer, Sonu Kumar, who has been posted in the locality for the last six years, told the police that when he attempted to enter the house, Sood’s sister did not let him in. He then informed the police, who arrived at the spot and forcibly entered the house while some women constables pacified Sood’s sister, who protested their entry. The team found the scientist’s maggot-infested body lying on a bed inside.
Sood had retired as a principal scientist from Pusa Institute’s nuclear science department on March 31 at the age of 62 and was living with his two younger siblings, both in their 60s, at an abandoned government quarter, he said, adding that the police could not trace any other family member.
Sood’s father was also a scientist at the institute. The police have learnt that Sood was an alcoholic and was under severe depression before his retirement.
Kumar said that Sood became a recluse after retiring. “When he was in service, I used to see him outside, and sometimes, he also spoke to me. But after his retirement, one would rarely see him outside,” he said.
The siblings mostly kept to themselves and did not interact with their neighbours. They had been living there for a long time and were unmarried. Locals, however, claimed that Kamla had got married but she had left her husband and returned to living with her brothers.
The deceased had not withdrawn a single penny either from his pension or gratuity funds. The family has its roots in Punjab. Sood’s siblings have been admitted to the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) by the police.
Similar incidents have been reported in the past where people were found living with the bodies of their relatives. In July, a 70-year-old mentally challenged man was found living, for almost a week, with the body of his younger brother in northeast Delhi’s Karawal Nagar. The incident was reported to the police after neighbours noticed foul smell emanating from the house where the duo stayed.
In another incident last year, a 90-year-old man was found living with the body of his wife in their one-room flat in south east Delhi’s Kalkaji.