Calcutta HC asks police to open murder case after fresh autopsy of IIT student's body

On October 14, the body of the third-year mechanical engineering student was found in his hostel room in IIT Kharagpur.
Calcutta High Court (File photo| PTI)
Calcutta High Court (File photo| PTI)

KOLKATA: The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday asked Kharagpur police in West Midnapore to register a murder case in connection with the death of IIT student Faizan Ahmed after the second autopsy report suggested it was a case of homicide.

The high court's order followed a petition by Faizan’s family members alleging that he was murdered.

Last month, the court ordered for the second post-mortem of the deceased stating that it was necessary to determine whether Faizan’s death was a case of suicide or not. Accordingly, police exhumed Faizan’s body from a burial ground in Dibrugarh, Assam.

On October 14, the body of the third-year mechanical engineering student was found in his hostel room in IIT Kharagpur.

Responding to a petition filed by Faizan’s family members, Justice Rajsekhar Mantha, last month, had directed that the second post-mortem be conducted at a state-run medical college and hospital. He had directed the investigating officer to coordinate with Assam police and bring the body to Kolkata.

Justice Mantha had also directed that Dr Ajay Kumar Gupta, a forensic expert appointed by the court for his opinion, will conduct the second post-mortem process in the presence of doctors who conducted the previous autopsy.

Gupta stated in a preliminary report submitted before the court that two injury marks on the back of the head of the deceased were not mentioned in the first autopsy report. He also mentioned some cut marks on the arms of the victim’s body.    

In the seizure-list, the police mentioned the seizure of a chemical called sodium nitrate in a bottle from Faizan’s room.

Court-appointed amicus curiae Sandip Bhattacharya submitted in the court that sodium nitrate, a yellowish powder, is normally used to preserve meat. A report submitted before the court mentioned that there was some yellowish residue in a bucket found by Bhattacharya and Gupta during their visit to the room from where the body was found.

In the court, it was also stated that when a body starts decomposing, it is impossible that fellow inmates living in adjoining rooms in the hostel would not be able to detect it, but mysteriously there was no stench from the body for three days.   

“The presence of the chemical opens up serious questions in regard to the time of death and whether it may have been used to preserve the body after the death of the victim,” Mantha mentioned in his observation.

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The New Indian Express