Police in India will file a case of forgery and cheating the government against five men and a woman who allegedly preserved the body of their 70-year-old mother with chemicals for months so they could draw the family pension using her thumb impression.
Police said on Thursday that the woman who passed away in her home town of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh state mid-January was receiving a monthly pension of 16,000 rupees (234 dollars) after her husband, a customs superintendent, died 10 years ago.
The police said the grotesque situation unravelled on Wednesday after police raided the premises following a tip-off from neighbours who complained the siblings had kept her body at home and had neither informed relatives of her demise.
“We found that they had embalmed the body with chemicals to preserve it.
“When we questioned them, they insisted she had slipped into coma. We called a doctor and exposed their lie,” area police chief Ayodhya Prasad Singh said.
Ink stains were found on her thumb which indicated thumb impressions – used in place of signatures for illiterate people – were taken repeatedly to claim the pension.
No arrests had been made yet.
“We will lodge a complaint of forgery and cheating the government against them after completing our investigations,” Singh said.
“This [drawing pensions] appears to be the only motive here as they were told by doctors back in January that she had passed away, but they were concealing her death for four months.”
In a similar case in the eastern metropolis of Kolkata earlier this year, a man had kept the body of his mother inside a freezer for three years so he could cash in her pension.(dpa/NAN)