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HindustanTimes Thu,10 Jul 2014

Deputy CMO death mystery: How CBI got to the conclusion

Rajesh Kumar Singh, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, September 29, 2012
First Published: 13:47 IST(29/9/2012) | Last Updated: 13:50 IST(29/9/2012)

Even though the CBI has termed death of Dy CMO YS Sachan as suicide in its closure report to the court on Friday, the question how a person could inflict nine injuries on his body and then go on to hang himself with a belt in the toilet of district jail hospital continues to agitate the mind of the people. There are obviously many unanswered questions.

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Sachan's death on June 22, 2011 had shocked the people as well as the cops investigating the multi crore national rural health mission (NRHM) scam and murder of two chief medical officers (CMOs) Dr VK Arya and Dr BP Singh.

A team of five doctors of Lucknow, who had conducted the post mortem, had in their report stated that the death was due to shock and hemorrhage. The probe by Lucknow forensic science laboratory had remained inconclusive on the murder or suicide issue. Family members, however, didn't have any doubt that Dr Sachan was silenced to protect some influential persons.

Here is a look at how the premier investigation agency reached the conclusion that it was not a case of cold-blooded murder but suicide:

In its probe that continued for over a year, the CBI took the assistance of the experts of central forensic science laboratory (CFSL), New Delhi, and forensic medicine expert of AIIMS, New Delhi, to crack the mystery. During investigation, the CBI collected evidence through over 100 witness and suspects, whom it quizzed. The call details of the suspects were analyzed. The opinion of Board of Doctors of AIIMS on the nature of injuries and cause of death was sought. Opinion of CFSL was sought on biology, physics, handwriting, fingerprints as well as psychological autopsy assessment.

“The footage of 64 CCTV cameras installed in the district jail was scanned and polygraph tests of the suspected person were carried out by the CBI sleuths,” a CBI officer said.

The AIIMS team went through the the autopsy report of Dr Sachan which stated there were eight incised ante mortem wounds on the body and one post mortem ligature mark on the neck. The cause of death was shock and hemorrhage. Eight wounds were caused by sharp edged weapon and one wound was caused by ligature.

The board of doctors at AIIMS opined that Dr Sachan first attempted to kill himself by inflicting incised wounds on arteries and veins by cutting wrist, elbow, neck and inguinal region. Instead of a major artery or a vein, only superficial veins were cut and the bleeding was slow. When he realised that bleeding was not fast, he attempted to hang himself with the belt and succeeded. The immediate cause of death was asphyxia - hanging with bleeding from the injuries, the team concluded.

In his report, deputy director of forensic science laboratory in Gandhinagar Dr MS Dahiya, who inspected the spot where Dr Sachan was found dead, said if an outsider had tried to kill Dr Sachan,  he would have inflicted multiple injuries on his neck, arm, wrist and groin. There was no sign of struggle or resistance in the toilet. The trail of the blood was vertical on the body indicating that injury was inflicted in standing position.

Senior scientific officer, CFSL, New Delhi, John George Moses, who conducted the psychological autopsy, opined that Dr Sachan was under stress. He had sleep disturbance and showed less interest in food after June 18 and he was suffering from hypertension, he said. The cops even recovered a suicide note from his belongings.

Also, the CBI sleuths found no trail of blood leading to the toilet or coming out of it. Blood was found spread all over the floor of the toilet indicating that wounds were inflicted inside. No blood was found on the corridor and staircase of jail hospital. A half blade with blood stains and hairs were recovered from the ventilator of the toilet where the buckle of the belt was lodged. It matched with the DNA of Sachan.

The CBI ruled out the theory that Dr Sachan was taken to the toilet in an unconscious condition. “The chemical examiner could not detect presence of any poison or sedative in the blood of the deceased. There was no evidence that he was forcibly taken to first floor of the hospital where the toilet was located,” the CBI said.


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