The Kolkata Police has got in touch with the bank, from where pension was withdrawn in the name of a dead woman, whose body was preserved by her jobless son in a freezer at home for the last three years.
The police are looking into the genuineness of the life certificate in the name of the woman, which was presented at the bank to withdraw her pension. It is suspected that her son was withdrawing the money by taking his mother’s thumb impression.
The police had Thursday recovered the body of the elderly woman, Beena Majumdar, from a freezer meant to keep meat. The body was preserved for about three years with the help of chemicals.
The body was found cut open from the chest till the abdomen with the internal organs removed. The corpse was embalmed regularly for its longevity.
The macabre act was reported from a house in the Behala area in the southern parts of the city after the police were tipped off by a journalist, who had come to know about it from the neighbours.
The son, Subhabrata Majumdar, who had mummified his mother’s corpse, had studied leather technology.
Majumdar, in his early 50s, was jobless for at least two years. He was arrested after a prolonged interrogation last night.
The police have booked him under IPC section 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life).
When produced before a city court today, Majumdar was released on bail.
Following doctor’s advice, he was subsequently taken to the Pavlov Hospital here for psychiatric treatment.
His father, octogenarian Gopal Chandra Majumdar, was also questioned by the police last night.
“We are probing if the life certificate presented at the bank to withdraw her pension was genuine or forged. If it was prepared by a doctor, we will question him,” a police officer associated with the probe said.
He added that the police were also trying to find out if someone from the bank had helped in illegally withdrawing the pension.
The officer said the son was preserving his mother’s corpse in the freezer with the help of formalin, a chemical used to preserve dead bodies.
“Around a dozen jars of formalin, out of which 5-6 still had the seal, were found from the ground floor room of the house where the corpse was kept.
“The police will find out from where the chemical was purchased and whether it was bought showing a legitimate purpose,” he said.
The son has told the police that he gathered information about preserving dead bodies using chemicals from medical journals.
“Many medical journals, in different languages, were recovered from the house,” the police said.
Media reports claimed that the son was also inspired to carry out the macabre act after watching a programme on Discovery channel.
The police said they would also probe who helped the son take out organs from his mother’s body.
The police would also talk to the neighbours to gather more details about the horrendous event, the officer said.
The world came to know about the matter after the neighbours alerted a journalist.
The neighbours knew the woman had died at a private hospital, but were clueless about what happened to her body.
The officer said the woman had died nearly three years ago and her body was preserved in a huge freezer in a locked room on the ground floor of the two-storeyed house.
There were two freezers in the locked room. The body of the woman was kept in one of the freezers, while the other one was empty, the officer said, adding “We are trying to find out what was the purpose of the second freezer.”
Both Gopal Chandra Majumdar and deceased Beena Majumdar had worked with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and were drawing a decent amount as pension.
Police sources said the husband of the woman told them that he was aware of the preservation of his wife’s body and that he was convinced by his son, who showed him several medical journals on a corpse returning to life. PTI