NEW DELHI, Sep 08 : A retired nuclear scientist of Indian Agricultural Research Institute at Pusa in Delhi was found dead at his house on Thursday. The body had been infested with maggots suggesting he died several days ago but his two siblings, who lived in the same house, did not raise any alarm.
The death finally became known when a neighbour alerted the Pusa authorities about a stench coming from the house. When a police team entered the house after much resistance from his siblings, they found the 64-year-old scientist’s highly decomposed body on a broken folding cot. Police said his brother and a sister, both in their 60s, were allegedly mentally ill.
The scientist, Dr Yashvir Sood, died a natural death and may have been dead for at least four days, said Vijay Kumar, DCP (west). However, neighbours said they had been getting a foul smell for almost a week, but thought it was from the surrounding due to the rain.
“It seems like the scientist had been dead for at least a week going by the stench and the extent of decomposition,” said Govind, a neighbour who works on the campus.
Sood retired as a principal scientist from the nuclear science department of the institute in March 2015. After he was asked to vacate the government quarters after his retirement, Sood began living in an abandoned quarter in the institute premises.
The three siblings had been living together for decades, said locals. Police said that none of them was married. The family belonged to Himachal Pradesh.
DCP said Sood appeared to have died of malnutrition. His brother and sister too were in bad physical and mental shape and have been admitted at the Institute of Human Behaviour and Sciences, said the DCP.
“The three siblings had nothing to do with the outside world and preferred to live only in each other’s company. It is possible that the scientist’s siblings were not even aware of his death,” said the DCP.
The initial inquiry has revealed that the scientist had never withdrawn his pension or gratuity amount even almost 30 months after retirement.
Delhi has witnessed similar cases in the past when elderly citizens living a desolate life failed to realise that a member of the house was no more.
In July 2017, a 70-year-old man was found living with the decayed body of his 68-year-old brother for nine days at their Rama Garden home at Karawal Nagar in northeast Delhi.
In October 2016, 90-year-old Govind Ram Jethani was found living with the decomposing corpse of his 85-year-old wife, Gopi, for four days before he came out of the home and asked a neighbour for help.