Partha De, who allegedly spent months with the skeleton of his sister at their Kolkata residence, on Tuesday claimed that he has not committed any crime and is being detained “unlawfully” by the authorities. He was speaking to mediapersons for the first time since police found the charred body of his father Arabinda De, who allegedly committed suicide, and three skeletons, one human and two dogs, from his house on Robinson Street.
“I have not committed any crime. I am being unlawfully kept here,” said Partha, 45, from behind the closed door of the Pavlov Mental Hospital.
“It’s illegal to keep me here. They have not shown me any papers. I am a free citizen,” he said. Asked about the reason behind the death of his 50-year-old sister Debjani De, Partha said, “She was very religious and had been fasting for a long time which I did not like… she died of fasting.”
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On whether he had informed his father about the death of Debjani, Partha said, “Yes, I have told my father, probably on March 10. I told him.”
The police officials probing the case have not yet been granted permission to question Partha at the mental hospital, said sources. He is likely to be questioned on Wednesday, by policemen in plainclothes, in the presence of the medical board looking after Partha, they said.
“There would be several aspects we will look into like whether we will go in uniforms, whether he could be interviewed for long hours at a stretch, whether a psychiatrist will accompany us,” said a senior police official.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Muralidhar Sharma claimed that the police had questioned some people involved with the case and solved most of the questions about the death of Arabinda De and his daughter at their residence.
Eight persons including a car mechanic, former security guards of the De family and some helpers were interrogated on Tuesday, said the police. Another team of investigators was going through the contents of the laptop of Partha and Arabinda’s brother Arun De. While searching Arabinda’s residence, police have also recovered more diaries.
The police believe that in the first month after Debjani’s death, Partha had sealed the doors and windows of her room with tapes and kept the air-conditioner on full blast to hide the unbearable stench, while he himself started living in the drawing room.
“Some people, including the security guards, got the stench but they could never imagine there was a body rotting inside the room,” Muralidhar said.
(With PTI inputs)