Police Still Investigating "House of Horrors" in India

On June 10, 77-year-old retired businessman Arabinda De committed suicide  by setting himself on fire in the bathroom of his family home in Kolkata, India.   After the body was removed,  police became concerned about his 44-year-old son Partha De who appeared extremely despondent over the grisly death.    While at the Shakespeare Road police station however, Partha eventually broke down and told officers that he "may have committed what may be a crime in the eyes of the law."   He also added that "I did it because I loved them, my sister and the dogs, and I couldn't let them go." 

Apprehensive over these revelations, a police squad was sent to investigate the flat where Partha De had been living with his family.   What they found has generated headlines across India.   Along with a sound system continually blasting out sermons by U.S. evangelist  Joyce Meyer, police also found the skeletal remains of Partha's 50-year-old sister Debjani De as well as Partha's two dogs in Partha's bedroom.   In a scene that some newspapers have suggested is straight out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie, Debjani's corpse was placed in Partha's bed with a small collection of teddy bears at one end of the bed.   The floor was littered with food and thousands of spiritual books were scattered throughout the house.

While Partha insists that this sister died last December 29 of natural causes, police are still investigating the circumstances of her death.   She had reportedly become despondent over the death of the two dogs earliers in the year and had started fasting to "invite God's help" according to her brother.  While the cause of death appears natural, Partha and his father began arguing over the younger De's refusal to cremate his sister's body as religious tradition indicates.    Partha said that he managed to convince his father that Debjani would return to life. 

Prior to 2005, Partha De as an IT technician and Debjani De as a music teacher.  After their mother's death however, their lives were never the same.  They soon quit their jobs to live at home while supporting themselves with the rent they received from two tenants.   While other family members lived nearby, including Arabinda's brother with whom they were all estranged, they did not allow visitors and nobody appeared aware of the odd smells that were coming from the home.

While Partha has been charged with criminal offenses, including failing to alert authorities about his sister's death, investigators have already ruled out homicide in the deaths of his father and sister.  At this time, he is being held in Kolkata's Pavlov Hospital under close supervision.   Police are also investigating Partha's diaries which contain lurid details about his relationship with his sister and his general problems with sexuality.

As for Partha De, he remains convinced that his sister and his dogs are still with him.  "The patient has been diagnosed as suffering from psychosis," said Dr Ganesh Prasad, Superintendent of the hospital in an interview with NDTV. "He is saying my sister and the dogs are with me. Right now, I can't make you understand but they are with me. They can't leave me. I love them so much. How can they leave me?"

The investigation is proceeding.



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