A 46-year-old man was arrested on Thursday after he and his father were found to have spent three years with the body of his mother at their home on SN Chatterjee Road, Kolkata. On Thursday, police discovered 87-year-old Bina Mazumdar’s body in a freezer, where it had allegedly been stored since 2015. Her son Subhabrato had been regularly withdrawing her pension using an ATM card, police said.
An FIR was lodged against Subhabrato under Sections 176 (omission to give notice or information to public servant) and 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) IPC. He will be produced in court on Friday.
Subhabrato’s father — Gopal Chandra Majumdar (89) — was also questioned. Police claimed he was aware that the body had been kept in the house.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Behala) Nilanjan Biswas told The Indian Express, “The body was stored in a commercial refrigerator since 2015. Prima facie, he (Subhabrato) revealed that he was doing all this to bring his mother to life.” The freezer was kept on the ground floor of the two-storied house.
Police sources said it appeared that Bina had died of a cardiac arrest in 2015. They further said that Bina was a government employee and had retired from the Food Corporation of India, while Subhabrato was a student of leather technology and operating a leather supply business.
“Subhabrato’s father was a government employee and receives pension. Bina Mazumdar also got pension. There is a possibility that he (Subhabrato) might have stored the body to continue receiving his mother’s pension. The matter is under investigation,” said a police officer, adding they were also looking at how pension was withdrawn beyond a year without a life certificate.
After the death of his mother, Subhabrato allegedly brought her body home, but told his neighbours that it had been kept at Peace Haven, a mortuary.
“He had good knowledge of leather technology and the chemicals used in it. He apparently used some chemicals to preserve the body. He had also taken out some internal organs,” the officer added.
The police officer further claimed that Subhabarto would regularly watch the National Geographic Channel, from where he got ideas about how to preserve a body. “Police found the body after receiving information from an anonymous source,” he added.
In 2015, a similar incident had been reported in the posh Theatre Road area of south Kolkata. A 46-year-old software engineer, Partha De, had spent months with the decomposed bodies of his elder sister and two pet dogs. Police had found the bodies while investigating the death of Partha’s father Arabinda.
The body was recovered from the bathroom of his residence at 3, Robinson Street, after police received a call about a fire. In February 2017, Partha was found charred to death at his flat in Watgunj, Port area. Police suspected that he committed suicide by setting himself ablaze.