Dead Pusa scientist’s siblings resisted bid to cremate rotting body, sent to IHBAS
Retired scientist Yashvir Sood’s decomposing body was discovered on Thursday morning inside a dilapidated and abandoned building in the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) campus in Delhi’s Pusadelhi Updated: Sep 09, 2017 15:21 IST
Many of those who knew 60-year-old Kamla Sood did not get along with her. But, when her older brother’s decomposed body was being taken away by the police on Thursday morning, they were moved to tears.
“She was not allowing the vehicle, carrying her brother’s body to drive away. She insisted that her brother was alive and should not be separated from her. It was a heartbreaking sight,” said Sanjay Kumar, a security guard who was among the first to detect the death.
Yashvir Sood’s decomposing body was discovered on Thursday morning inside a dilapidated and abandoned building in the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) campus in Delhi’s Pusa. He had retired as a principal scientist from the institute in 2015.
The 64-year-old scientist’s younger siblings, Kamla and Harish, had lived with his body for four days or more before the strong stench drew neighbour’s attention on Thursday. Police said the three siblings suffered from malnutrition and poor mental health. Kamla and Harish have now been admitted to a hospital for treatment.
“We would have been more sensitive and caring had we known that they were suffering from mental problems. We thought they were arrogant and remain aloof,” said Govind, a neighbour.
So, when a few people tried to barge into the siblings’ house on Thursday to detect the source of the foul smell, Kamla blocked their entry and put up a fight, even pelted stones at them. Police had to be called, but Kamla would not allow even them to enter. Only when some senior police officers arrived, an entry was made possible.
Guard Sanjay Kumar and his supervisor Sonu Kumar were the first to enter the house, followed by the police. “The stench was so strong that my supervisor vomited twice. We arranged four room freshener cans before we could proceed,” said Sanjay.
The scientist’s body was lying on a cot in a tiny, dark room. Maggots infested his body and the flesh in his legs had begun to leave the bones. “The smell was unbearable, but it did not seem to affect his siblings,” said the guard.
According to Vijay Kumar, DCP (West), the scientist was an alcoholic who suffered from depression in the months preceding his retirement. “Yashvir too was mentally ill. Even 30 months after retirement, he had not once cared to collect his pension or gratuity,” said the DCP.
The institute officials said efforts had been made to reach out to Yashvir to help him collect his money, but he would never fill the form. “He was a heavy drinker. He would often land up for work drunk,” alleged Devaraj, section officer in the administrative department of the institute.
The authorities had faced problems in late 2015 when they had to get Yashvir to vacate his staff quarter after retirement. The three siblings would just not leave and had to be forcibly evicted after the grace period of a few months, said neighbours who witnessed it.
“Since the department concerned felt that Yashvir and his siblings had no place to go, they found the trio an abandoned building in the campus premises to live,” said an institute official.
Those who knew the three siblings for decades recounted how the trio was deep into academics. “I remember Yashvir’s brother sitting under the street lights and studying years ago. It is sad to see their lives taking such an unfortunate turn,” said Ram Kishore, a local resident.