The bodies of three members of a family were found in a flat in Hajouri, Thane (West) late Wednesday night. While Anandibai Halankar’s, 65, and her daughter Vasanti’s, 43, bodies were found in the kitchen, the body of Anandibai’s son Shivshankar was found in the living room of the one-room-kitchen flat in Anupama Society.
According to neighbours and police officials, the family members were mentally unsound and rarely interacted with others.
It was Anandibai’s second daughter, Kunda, 42, who alerted the neighbours around 9:30 pm. The neighbours called up the Wagle Estate police station, where an accidental death report was filed.
As Shivshankar’s, 40, body had started decomposing, police suspect the death occurred at least 24 hours earlier. The bodies were sent to Thane Civil Hospital for a post-mortem. Doctors have, however, reserved their opinion. The viscera samples will be sent for a chemical analysis.
“The cause of death will be known only after the post-mortem. We will get the report in a day or two. There were no injury marks,” said deputy commissioner of police (zone V) Ashok Morale.
Police officials, however, say prima facie the deaths appear to have been natural. One theory is that the three deceased were suffering from diabetes and could have slipped into a coma and died. The other is that they must have died of shock. None of the deceased and neither Kunda would mingle much with their neighbours. They kept to themselves and hardly ventured out.
The father, Ramchandra Halankar, worked with the Bombay Port Trust and was very strict, say neighbours. He died 12 years ago and another daughter Vrunda, too, passed away a few years ago.
Halankar would not let his daughters work and even after his death they did not attempt to look for work. The family managed to survive on the father’s pension. “While Anandibai ventured out to collect the pension from the bank, Kunda did all the grocery shopping,” said inspector (crime) SG Jawle.