Representational image of an ambulance entering the street where 11 family members were found dead inside their home in the neighborhood of Burari, New Delhi, India, on July 1, 2018. SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images

A man was detained by police in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata on Monday for keeping his mother’s decomposed body for over 15 days at his home.

The incident came to light after neighbors informed police about a foul smell coming from the house Sunday night. When police arrived at the house the following morning, they found Maitreyo Bhattacharya, the son, sitting with his 77-year-old mother’s decomposed body. He was immediately taken into custody by police for questioning.

During the interrogation, the man revealed that his mother had told him to bury her in the house and not to cremate her.

“He told us that he informed an acquaintance, who lives in Beadon Street in north Kolkata, of his mother’s death. We are verifying his claims,” said an officer of Bidhannagar city police, local newspaper the Hindustan Times reported.

The man, in his 40s, appeared to be mentally challenged, according to reports. He lived with his mother in the house and ran the household expenses with his father’s pension.

Police said the body was sent for autopsy and from the degree of decomposition, it looked like she died about 17-18 days ago.

“In presence of (her son) Maitro Bhattacharya, the dead body of Krishna was recovered in a highly decomposed condition. The body has been sent for post mortem. The actual time and cause of death is yet to be ascertained. A case of unnatural death case has been registered,” Amit Javalgi, deputy commissioner of police, said according to local daily the Indian Express.

Police officers were also surprised to find photocopies of his and his mother ’s identity proofs and his certificates of education attached to the main door of the house with some remarks scribbled on it.

"Maitreya Bhattacharya needs medical help as his mental condition seems unstable," said a police officer, local TV network Zee News reported.

Neighbors informed police they felt something was wrong between the mother and the son and that the two often picked up quarrels with them.

"We came to know that the woman was dead. The son reportedly did not have cordial relation with her," a neighbor reportedly said. Others told police that his father died a few years ago and his mother subsequently fell ill.

The case is ongoing and under investigation.

In a similar incident in April this year, a man preserved his 87-year-old mother’s dead body in a freezer for three years in order to withdraw pension using her thumb impression in Kolkata, West Bengal.

The body was discovered in the large freezer during a police raid at Subhabrata Majumdar’s house after a youth, who visited their residence over some civic issue, complained of a strong foul smell. During questioning, Majumdar revealed that his mother died in 2015 and he preserved the body using chemicals in order to withdraw her monthly retirement pension.