It was the opinion of doctors from two of the region's top medical institutes, which led the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conclude that the cause of the mysterious death of Karam Singh, the former sarpanch Kambopura village in Karnal, was suicide.
The doctors from both All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, opined that aluminium phosphide, which caused the death, could not have been forcefully ingested.
Karam Singh had died on June 7, 2011, in mysterious circumstances and two Haryana MLAs, Zile Ram Sharma and Om Prakash Jain, were named as accused for his alleged murder. But now the CBI has concluded in its chargesheet that it was a suicide. Sharma, Jain and Rajinder Sharma, Jain's personal assistant, have been accused of abetment to suicide.
What the experts said
According to the chargesheet, in its opinion dated July 1, 2011, AIIMS' doctors opined, "In view of the presence of aluminum phosphide in the soil-stained vomit, apparel of the deceased and viscera, aluminium phosphide could have been the cause of death."
Regarding the alleged forcible ingestion of the poison, AIIMS doctors said, "Aluminium phosphide cannot be given to an individual without his knowledge because of the typical smell of phosphine gas. It is not likely to be ingested forcibly until person does the act of deglutition to swallow the substance containing aluminium phosphide himself. It is further opined that there is no evidence suggestive of forceful ingestion to the deceased in the PMR (post-mortem report)."
Karam Singh had suffered some injuries too and there were bloodstains on his clothes. The chargesheet adds, "Regarding the injuries to the person of the deceased as per the PMR and medico-legal report, it is opined that injuries are simple in nature and could have been caused by a sharp-edged weapon." The chargesheet says that the "injuries being self-inflicted" could not be ruled out.
The CBI had also sought opinion from PGIMER, Chandigarh, which replied on July 25 that their opinion was the same as that of AIIMS.
Before breathing his last, Karam Singh, had blamed Zile Ram Sharma for his death. He had even said that he was made to drink the poisonous substance. But PGIMER, Chandigarh, in its report, dated April 29 this year, claimed that after consuming aluminium phosphide, a person becomes incoherent until "hypoxia preterminally". Hypoxia is a condition where the body is deprived of oxygen.
On the suicide
The CBI chargesheet says that Karam Singh was fed up with both Jain and Sharma as they were not returning the bribe amounting to R12.5 lakh which they had taken for jobs to three people that did not materialise. It said that he had no other reason to commit suicide other than the harassment caused by the MLAs. The investigation agency also says that both the MLAs used to take money for getting people jobs.
Zile Ram Sharma had taken R4.95 lakh from Karam Singh for getting his relative, Sunil, recruited as a constable. On the other hand, Jain had taken R3 lakh for getting Rajinder Singh, the son of Karam Singh, recruited as conductor and R4.5 lakh from Sandeep, the son of Chamel Singh, for the job of clerk.
Rajinder Singh is the complainant in the case. The chargesheet says that the polygraph test on the MLAs revealed that they had lied in their responses.
Chamel Singh died soon after deposing against the MLAs before the Haryana Police, when it was investigating the death of Karam Singh on June 15, 2011, but his family never pressed for a CBI probe.