Kolkata: In what can be a scene straight from Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece "Psycho", police have come across a man who has been living with the corpse of his sister and two dead dogs for the past six months in Kolkata.
Police stumbled on the skeletons on Wednesday night while investigating the death of Arabinda De, the owner of the house whose charred body was found inside a bathroom hours earlier.
Police reached the house in south Kolkata's Shakespeare Sarani after getting a call about a fire.
The interrogation of Arabinda's son Partha De (44) led to the discovery of the skeletons.
"We recovered Arabinda's charred body from the house and sent it for post-mortem examination. Since it was a case of unnatural death, we posted two constables outside the house. They found Partha behaving suspiciously, which raised doubts," said Deputy Commissioner of Kolkata Police (south division) Murli Dhar.
"We later interrogated him, during which he told us that the skeleton of his sister Debjani, who died nearly six months earlier, was in the house.
"He also told us that Debjani was depressed due to the death of their pet dogs and shunned eating which eventually led to her death," Dhar said.
"We are also looking into the cause of Arabinda's death. Until the autopsy reports come, we can't say anything. Partha claimed his sister died due to fasting. We have detained him for questioning," the official added.
He said that prima facie, it appears Partha is "mentally unstable and refused to cremate his sister or dispose of the dead dog".
"There is also evidence suggesting he used to feed the skeletons. We are probing all aspects and seeking help of medical experts to ascertain Partha's mental status," added the officer.
The skeletons during the day were sent for autopsy and a forensic team also visited the house to collect samples.
"The fire was confined only to the bathroom. We have collected samples, and we are probing all angles," a forensic expert said.
According to police sources, Partha could not accept the death of his sister because of which he did not cremate her body.
He also had repeated altercations with his father Arabinda, that led to his suicide.
A suicide note purportedly written by Arabinda was found, and police were verifying its authenticity.
Psychologists attributed Partha's inability to accept reality to be behind the bizarre incident.
"Such incidents have happened in many places of the world where people have lived with the corpses of their loved ones for many years. Because of the extreme level of love and bonding, some people cannot accept that their near ones have died and create a world of their own believing there is no death," psychologist Om Prakash Singh said.