NEW DELHI: An ailing nonagenarian was found living with the corpse of his wife in his Kalkaji house on Sunday night. Police said the body had decomposed beyond recognition and it was lying on the floor.
According to the cops, the man, Govind Ram Jethani (90), was suffering from severe malnutrition and was shifted to a private hospital. Doctors said he had developed some psychological disorder because of which he could not differentiate between a living person and a dead one.
Police said Jethani and his wife Gopi (85) had been living in the single-storey house at the J-1 block since 1974. He used to work at a private company but had quit his job to set up a business with his younger brother. However, they fell out over monetary issues and parted ways.
Jethani had tried setting up small businesses but failed. The childless couple depended mostly on Jethani’s savings in a post office and the gratuity money from his previous job.
Neighbours said that Jethani’s five brothers, two of whom were businessmen, stayed in different parts of the city. They maintained that except his nephew Narender, whom he had brought up while working with his youngest brother, no one else could be seen visiting the couple.
He used visit Jethanis every six month to hand over them the interest—a meagre Rs 8,000—from their post office savings. “They would manage with the money as they did not have other expenses. They would keep everything in order in the house so that I did not get to see their plight,” said Narender.
Pradeep Kumar, one of the neighbours, said the couple was facing such a financial hardship that they had only one meal a day. Jethanis seldom left the house as they remained unwell. “They were not social and often had arguments with neighbours over petty issues. Most of us tried avoid interactions with them,” Kumar said.
On Sunday night, Jethani stepped out of his house and called his neighbour Pramod, an advocate, to have a look at his wife. “He had told me that his wife was not responding to his calls for the past few days. When I entered, there was a stench in the room. I saw a woman’s body lying on the floor with the face down. There were maggots all over it,” said Pramod. Later, he called police.
Cops reached the house and sent the body for an autopsy. The body was handed over to Narender on Monday for cremation. So far, no case has been registered.
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