|The bungalow where Sheela Reddy lived. Bangalore News Photos
Bangalore, Aug. 21: No one in her posh locality cared to check on Sheela Reddy, 53, till her brother arrived yesterday to find she had been dead at least four months.
A neighbour in Indira Nagar said Sheela’s disappearance from sight had gone unnoticed for so long perhaps because the unmarried woman, who lived alone in her two-storey bungalow, maintained very little contact with the outside world.
While it’s usual for residents of upscale areas to guard their privacy, it seems Sheela did not even step out of home, entertain anyone, employ a maid or subscribe to newspapers.
“We often saw her walking in her compound, though,” said a neighbour who didn’t wish to be named.
Initial indications are that Sheela may have died hungry, as there was nothing to suggest she had cooked or eaten before she died. There were neither leftovers nor food waste in the house.
“Many retirees live in these areas — they keep to themselves apart from visits by family,” the neighbour suggested, trying to explain why no one had missed Sheela.
But it seems that even her family didn’t keep in touch with Sheela since she began living alone following her mother’s death a year ago. Police sources said her brother Shankar Reddy and a few other relatives lived just 3-4km away in Thippasandra, a middle-class area.
Shankar came visiting yesterday after failing to get through the landline phone but found the front door bolted. He prised the ground-floor bedroom window open to see a body on the divan, the torso decomposing and the lower part reduced to skeleton, police sources said.
All the doors and windows had been shut. Officers did not confirm reports that a neighbour had reported a stench from the house sometime in May.
The bungalow, Balaji Nilaya, stands on a 120ftx120ft plot in 12th Main Road, dotted by the homes of retired government officials, banks and restaurants.
The family home of cricketer Rahul Dravid is just a couple of hundred metres from Sheela’s house. Former Test cricketers E.A.S. Prasanna and Sadanand Vishwanath lived in the area till a few years ago.
“It appears she may have died four or five months ago,” a police officer said. Police sources said Sheela was a rich woman but added that no foul play was suspected.
“She lived a lonely life and stayed away even from her family members because of some differences. But otherwise there is nothing to suspect as yet,” additional commissioner of police Kamal Pant said.
“There is no foul play prima facie, but we’ll come to a conclusion on the cause of death after forensic reports are ready in a couple of days.”
It was not possible to contact the family because the police would neither give an address nor a phone number.
Police sources said Sheela was the daughter of Chowda Reddy who owned land in the area before Indira Nagar, named after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, came into being.
The neighbourhood was shaped out of villages where landlords owned vast tracts of land. The government bought the land and converted the place into a residential area in the early 1970s.