They probably lived together happily once upon a time. But the death of their parents in the mid-nineties, their brother’s decision to live separately after getting married in 2007 and, finally, their pet dog’s death six months ago appear to have proved too much for the Bahal sisters, now in their forties.They slipped into what seems like acute depression, locked themselves in their house in Noida’s Sector 29 for the past six months, ate only biscuits, chips and mineral water they ordered from a nearby store till December and headed towards a lonely end.
But help came in the form of concerned neighbours, who informed the police and an NGO that something was amiss.
By the time the police broke open the door and rescued them on Tuesday, the elder one, Anuradha, had slipped into a coma and the younger one, Sonali, was barely alive. Doctors at Kailash Hospital, where they were rushed, found them weak, starved and dehydrated. Sonali was slightly coherent while Anuradha was in an extremely critical condition.
"The father, a retired army officer, died in a road accident in Agra in 1995. The mother died soon after,” a police officer said.
"Anuradha worked as a chartered accountant for a Delhi-based company from 1991 to 1997. Sonali worked with a Noida company till 2008. The two sisters came to Noida in 1997 with their brother, Vipin Bahal. Vipin got married in 2007 and started living separately in Sector 50 in Noida,” the officer added.
The police said water and power supply to the house had been cut off due to non-payment of bills. The sisters used candles for light. There was only some salt in the house, no eatables.
Social activist Usha Thakur, who accompanied the police to the house, said it was stinking when the door was broken open. “There was a very bad odour coming from the sisters’ bodies. While the elder one was half-nude, the younger sister was wearing woollen clothes in this warm weather,” she said.