One of the two starving sisters, who were rescued from six months of reported self-confinement at their house here, died in hospital on Wednesday morning. Hours after, the condition of the younger sister also deteriorated.

While Anuradha died of cardiac arrest even as she was undergoing treatment, Sonali has been shifted to the Intensive Care Unit, said doctors at Kailash Hospital. “Her blood pressure has fallen. She is diagnosed with malnutrition, dehydration and depression.” In a shocking case of self-deprivation, Anuradha and Sonali, both in their 40s and holding doctorate degrees, were found malnourished and dehydrated by the police and neighbours on Tuesday in their Sector 59 apartment.

‘Civil society should be alert'

Aarti Dhar reports from New Delhi

The National Commission for Women (NCW) has sought a report from the Noida administration on the sisters having reportedly confined themselves in their apartment.

“The Noida case has disturbed me a lot. We are seeking a report from the administration and the police there. If we are not satisfied, we might constitute a team and visit the spot,” said acting Chairperson Yasmeen Abrar. She said civil society should be more alert, particularly about neighbours.

“They were confined for such a long time. I feel that civil society has a role. Society should monitor, be aware, come forward.”

Ms. Abrar said the matter should be looked into in all seriousness — what prompted self-confinement, whether any property issue was involved, whether the sisters were kept confined and whether media reports reflected the actual situation.

Interacting with journalists after taking charge as Chairperson, Ms. Abrar said she would continue to follow the NCW policy of chalen gaon ke ore (let us go to the village) to ensure freedom for all women.

“A monitoring committee will soon be formed to look into implementation of women-centric laws and other such schemes in States with the help of governments there,” said Ms. Abrar, an NCW member since 2005.

Amendments to the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, proper implementation of the Domestic Violence Act and the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill would be the NCW's priority areas to push for in the monsoon session of Parliament.

To a question on safety of women in Delhi, Ms. Abrar said the law and order situation should be strengthened in the city. “There are strong laws, but we have to implement them properly.”