A retired nuclear scientist working with Indian Agricultural Research Institute was found dead inside the abandoned government quarters on Pusa Road , in Delhi, on Thursday. His brother and sister, Harish and Kamla, were found staying with the highly-decomposed body for at least the past fortnight.
Police suspect that the scientist, Dr Yashvir Sood (62), had died of an ailment.
Harish and Kamla were found to be suffering from mental disorder and have been admitted to Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IBHAS) for treatment.
Sood, principal scientist with the nuclear science department, had retired two years ago after which he vacated the government quarters. A year ago, he started staying with his siblings in the abandoned building a kilometre away. His father, Ved Prakash Sood, was also a scientist at the institute and Sood was born in the government quarters where he stayed till 2015.
Neighbours said that a few years before retirement, Sood went under severe depression as he would have to leave the government quarters.
On Thursday morning, police got a call from a security guard, Sonu Kumar, about a foul smell emanating from the house. “Other residents of the area had complained about it. I peeped in through the ground floor window of house number B-1 and found the decomposed body lying on the charpoi and informed the cops,” said Kumar.
When Kumar tried to enter the house, Kamla allegedly refused to open the door and threatened to harm him. Later, cops arrived and convinced her to open the door. Kamla and Harish were unaware that their brother had died and refused to allow cops to take away his body. An autopsy could not be conducted as no family member has authorised it.
Probe revealed that Sood had not withdrawn his pension or gratuity for the past two years. Institute officials said that he had refused to sign the required documents, possibly because he dreaded being asked to leave the campus.
Their neighbour, Govind, said that none of the siblings were married. “Harish used to loiter around the campus picking flowers from the roadside bushes, while Kamla used to sit outside the gate,” he said. A local tiffin service agency provided them with food, but even that had stopped for the past one month.
“Physical health experts said the siblings have poor personal hygiene and fragile health. The sanitary condition of the house is also very poor,” said DCP (west) Vijay Kumar. The family belonged to Himachal Pradesh.
Sood was good in studies and had progressed well in his career. He was very possessive about the campus. He looked after his siblings after his parents passed away. “He remained in the house allotted to his father in E-Block despite being offered better quarters. Days before his retirement, he would lie outside the gate through the night, often without food or water. We used to feel bad for him and offered him food, which he accepted but fed his siblings first,” said his neighbour Manju.