Mentally ill son kept 'feeding' dead couple

Sep 19, 2012, 06:34 IST | Shiva Devnath

Bodies of a 75-year-old Kandivli resident and his 70-year-old wife were recovered from their apartment yesterday. Sources say Maniklal and Surbala Shah expired three days apart. Cops suspect the couple died of natural causes.

According to police, the Shahs did not have a child and treated Niraj (23) as their son. Police said Niraj, who is mentally disturbed, did not realise his parents were dead and kept ‘feeding’ and massaging them.

Bodies of the elderly couple
Natural death, unnatural circumstances: Bodies of the elderly couple being taken to a nearby hospital from their flat in Kandivli yesterday. 

Maniklal and Surbala were doctors and stayed in a ground floor flat of Park View building located at Shankar lane in Kandivli (West). The Shahs had been bedridden for a long time. Niraj, who works as a delivery boy in a store opposite the residence, took care of the couple since he stayed with them.

Park View building in Kandivli
The Park View building in Kandivli where the Shahs were found dead

Kandivli cops said that either last Friday or Saturday, Surbala, a gynaecologist who was ill since the past six months, died allegedly of natural causes.

“As her eyes and mouth remained open Niraj and Maniklal could not comprehend that Surbala was dead. The son kept massaging her for three days,” said a police officer.

“On Monday, when a population survey representative went to their house, Maniklal, a homeopathic doctor, answered him, which tells us that he was alive till then,” added the officer.

On Tuesday, when Niraj reached his store, he told the shop owner that foul odour was emanating from the house. The latter reported the matter to Maniklal’s brother who went to check on the couple. He found them dead, lying on the bed next to each other. Police arrived and the bodies were sent for post mortem.

“We suspect Maniklal suffered on realising that Surbala was dead. Causes of the deaths appear to be natural. However, we have sent the bodies for autopsy to ascertain the facts,” said H Pimple, senior inspector of Kandivli police station. 

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