The lawyer of seven SIMI operatives alleged that autopsies were carried out way past evening hours at the Hamidia Hospital in Bhopal to hush up the ‘fake encounter’.
After the encounter took place between 10 am and 11 am on Monday, the bodies were taken to Hamidia Hospital at 2 in the afternoon. The home department’s medico-legal institute director Dr Ashok Sharma and his colleague Dr Murli Lalwani first completed the formality of filling out all the required paperwork and finished the autopsies at about 10 pm.
In India, postmortem is not conducted after 5 pm except in an emergency situation, that too with permission from the collector. But the autopsies went on till 10 pm without permission from the Bhopal collector in the case of eight SIMI operatives, lawyer Parvez Alam alleged.
“The postmortem was carried out in violation of several rules. Not only police but medico-legal institute of home department is also trying to ‘hush up’ the matter related to the fake encounter,” Alam alleged.
As per rules, a medico-legal team can’t perform postmortem after 5pm. There is a scientific reason to it. Doctors say the wounds appear violet in artificial lights.
Senior advocate Ajay Gupta said autopsies shouldn’t have been done in haste in such a high-profile case.
But Sharma asserted there was no need to take permission as the form was filled at 2 PM and autopsy began at 4 PM. “Once the autopsy starts, it can continue till night. The starting time was valid one.” When asked whether it was valid to conduct the autopsies way after 5 pm and whether he had permission from the collector, Sharma said, “The district magistrate was aware of it.”
District collector Nishant Warwade couldn’t be contacted despite all efforts.