Rear Admiral’s death: Freak accident or suicide?

If the preliminary investigation on Admiral’s death is to go by, the version put forward by Navy should be scrutinised.

Published: 10th July 2010 03:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 01:37 PM   |  A+A-


The body of Rear Admiral S S Jamwal being taken for cremation on Friday. His son Rohan (extreme right) is also seen

KOCHI: Can a misfired bullet, accidentally triggered from a pistol kept about a feet below the head of Rear Admiral Jamwal, cause a substantially deep and oval-shaped wound on the side of his temple? And, if it was misfired, how would it have a perfect trajectory through the temple? If the preliminary investigation is something to go by, the version put forward by the Navy that “the Rear Admiral accidentally shot himself while examining a pistol which misfired twice” should be closely scrutinised.

The police said “the version given by the Navy and the witnesses do not seem to corroborate this.” “The bullet entered into his head 1 cm above the right ear and exited from 3 cm above the left ear. Chances are that the shot was fired point-blank,” said a police official.

The so-called ‘freak accident’ raises many a question about the Naval version of the incident. Though the Navy says the Real Admiral went to the gunnery school for inspection of trainees as a part of a planned visit, sources said it was only the previous day that he decided to go to the school.

The sources said the forensic experts opined that the “firing was not accidental”. “When a bullet is fired from close range, there will be minor burns. Also, there will be minor discolouration of the wound at its secondary layer.

The exit point of the bullet would be larger compared to the exit point of a bullet fired from a distance. Some of these seem to be corroborating in this case,” said an official, while admitting that he cannot ascertain that it was a suicide.

Meanwhile, the Navy has begun a Board of Inquiry, headed by Commodore S V R Murthy, into the incident.

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