Loneliness and old age forced a woman to end her life in Chittaranjan Park in southeast Delhi, police said.
The elderly woman whose husband died a year ago set herself on fire at her ground floor house in Block D of CR Park two days ago. Though the incident took place two days ago, no one came to know about the incident till Friday.
Her decomposed body was found on Friday afternoon when neighbours complained of a strong smell from the house and made a call to the police control room.
The woman, identified as Savita Ghosh, lived alone at her flat.
Her husband S K Ghosh, who retired from the Ministry of Defence, died a year ago. The couple did not have any children, police said.
On Wednesday, a constable from the CR Park police station had gone to visit the senior citizen as part of a routine drive for the elderly, but she refused to meet him, police said.
“She rarely interacted with anyone in the area. On Wednesday, one of our constables had gone to meet her but she refused saying she did not want any help and wanted to live alone,” said a senior police officer on condition of anonymity.
Neighbours said the woman preferred recluse. “She rarely came out of the house and hardly spoke to anyone in the area,” said a neighbour who did not wish to be identified.
Police said the woman set herself on fire in the back lane of the house as they could find traces of kerosene oil.
“It seems that she poured kerosene oil on her and set herself on fire in the back lane of the house. Her body was recovered from one of the rooms. The house was locked from inside and police had to break open one of the windows to gain entry,” said the officer.
Police said when they discovered the body it was highly decomposed.
The body has been sent for postmortem at AIIMS.
“We are trying to contact her relatives, an autopsy would be conducted only after that. We have not found the addresses or phone number of any of her relatives yet,” said the officer.