A retired scientist with the Indian Agricultural Research Institute at Pusa in Delhi was found dead at his house on Thursday. The body had been infested with maggots suggesting he died several days ago but his two siblings, who lived in the same house, did not raise any alarm.

The death finally became known when a neighbour alerted the Pusa authorities about a stench coming from the house. When a police team entered the house after much resistance from his siblings, they found the 64-year-old scientist’s highly decomposed body on a broken folding cot. Police said his brother and a sister, both in their 60s, were allegedly mentally ill.

The scientist, Dr Yashvir Sood, died a natural death and may have been dead for at least four days, said Vijay Kumar, DCP (west). However, neighbours said they had been getting a foul smell for almost a week, but thought it was from the surrounding due to the rain.

“It seems like the scientist had been dead for at least a week going by the stench and the extent of decomposition,” said Govind, a neighbour who works on the campus.

Sood retired as a principal scientist from the institute in March 2015. After he was asked to vacate the government quarters after his retirement, Sood began living in an abandoned quarter in the institute premises.

The three siblings had been living together for decades, said locals. Police said that none of them was married. The family belonged to Himachal Pradesh.

DCP said Sood appeared to have died of malnutrition. His brother and sister too were in bad physical and mental shape and have been admitted at the Institute of Human Behaviour and Sciences, said the DCP.