KOLKATA — In a case that could give a thriller a run for its money, the city police investing the death of a septuagenarian in a fire in his home today stumbled on a man living with the skeletons of his elder sister and two pet dogs for the past six months.
The police investigating a fire on the second floor of 3, Robinson Street in the heart of the city had found the charred body of 77-year-old Arabindo De, the owner of the house, from inside a bathroom last night.
"Following last night's incident we had posted two constables outside De's flat. De's son Partho (45) on seeing them started reacting abnormally," Special Additional Commissioner of Police(Crime) Pallab Kanti Ghosh told reporters today.
Police had initially thought his behaviour was due to the grief of losing his father. But when they questioned Partho, he came out with the bizarre story of storing his elder sister's skeleton and those of the two pet dogs inside the house, Ghosh said.
Police conducted a search and found three skeletons allegedly belonging to his elder sister Debjani (50) and two pet dogs from one room and a suicide note purportedly written by the father from another room.
The note dated June 8 this year said none was responsible for his death.
Ghosh said that during interrogation Partho told the police that Debjani was depressed after the death of two dogs last year and had stopped eating. She died six months ago.
"We found ample dry food near the skeletons, which Partho said he was feeding his sister and the dogs," the ACP said.
"We believe Partho could not accept his sister's death and did not cremate her body. We have sent him to a mental hospital. We are taking medical help to ascertain whether he is mentally stable or not," Ghosh said.
No case has been registered in this connection and none was arrested, Ghosh said adding all the three skeletons were sent for forensic examination. .
Ghosh said besides covering windows and doors of the apartment with thick cloth, Partho had blocked even small holes on window frames with tapes probably to stop the smell of the decomposed bodies from going out.
Inside the three rooms as well as in the bathrooms, Partho, a B Tech graduate had set up a sound system and used to play records of American evangelists, he said.
"The De's had no maid and they had stopped communicating with their relatives as well. Partho's uncle stayed in the next house but they had no relation with him too," he said adding the security guard used to bring them food thrice a day and was paid money for it.
It was learnt that Partho, who turned 45 last month, had thrown a party where he invited his uncle but he did not allow him beyond their drawing room. He had in fact told his uncle that Debjani was meditating in the next room and must not be disturbed.
Partho, had quit his job in a top I-T firm in 2007 and stopped working since then. He stayed with his family in their three-bedroom apartment.
Police said Debjani, a spinster, was a singing teacher at Don Bosco School at Park Circus and at Calcutta Girls School.
The senior De's death also appeared unusual. Ghosh said the fire in which he was burnt to death was confined only to the bathroom, which was bolted from inside.
"There was no kerosene or any medium to aid the burning. We have collected samples and are investing all possibilities. Arabindo's diary may help us in revealing more into this case," he said.
During their search the police had found a diary belonging to Arabindo De, who was top officer in a Bangalore-based multinational company.
His wife had passed away few years ago.