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Elder of the rescued sisters dies, NCW to probe

Apr 13, 2011 02:50 PM IST India India

Noida: A day after the two Behl sisters were rescued from their Noida house, 47-year-old Anuradha, the elder sister, died on Wednesday.

An inquiry has been ordered into the self-confinement of two Noida sisters for seven months. A team of the National Commission for Women will investigate whether the two sisters - Anuradha Behl and Sonali Behl - were neglected and will submit its report within 15 days.

The enquiry was ordered just a few hours after Anuradha died.

Having locked themselves up without food for months, the younger of the two sisters, Sonali, continues to battle for her life and is monitored now also by a psychiatrist. Their brother Vipin says he didn't know it had come down to this.

"I was helpless. Even if I wanted to help them, they refused hands were tied. I am the youngest one and they were not listening to me," said Vipin Behl.

The National Commission for Women slammed civil society for what they called neglect but neighbours of the Behl sisters said they had tried several times to help, but were told categorically to stay away.

At the time of Vipin's wedding, we came to know that the sisters find the match and she took all the initiatives...she was very thrilled, exited and happy," their neighbour Dr MJU Khan.

The owner of the grocery shop, from where the sisters usually ordered from, said he had rarely seen the sisters at his shop. All purchases were made over the phone and the payment, surprisingly, made through cheques.

Both the sisters were educated - Anuradha was a chartered accountant while Sonali was an IT professional.

Both parents died in quick succession. Father in a road accident in Agra in 1991 and Mother in 1995 of a heart attack. A year later, Anuradha quit her job in 1996.

In 2007, their brother Vipin got married and a few months later, moved out. Sonali too left her job in 2008 because she wasn't happy. And their dog died in 2009.

Vipin said, he last saw his sisters in September 2010 and they told him to leave them alone.

Neighbours said that both the sisters were very close to their brother, and were devastated when Vipin and his wife left home after their marriage. A dog they had adopted, died in 2009, and could have been yet another reason why the sisters went into depression.

Psychiatrists at the hospital attending to Sonali said, it is extremely difficult medicaly to determine when the two first showed the signs of mental illness.

Was it helplessness when their parents died? Loneliness after a brother left home? Grief at having lost a pet or some thing more? One can only imagine what went on behind the doors of the Behl residence in Noida.