A senior forensic expert from AIIMS today pointed out ambiguities in the autopsy report of journalist Nirupama Pathak, suspected to have been a victim of honour killing, and has sought setting up of a medical board for further probe.
"I have gone through the post-mortem report of the deceased, on the basis of which I am neither ruling out smothering nor ruling out suicidal attempt. There is a need for further investigation in the case," Sudhir Gupta, associate professor, forensic medicine, AIIMS said.
He said Jharkhand and Delhi police had sought his views on the report.
"By going through the details of the reports prepared by the Koderma doctors, there are findings which says there are ligature marks (on the neck). These ligature marks are generally seen in hanging.
"In my opinion, neither can I conform that the cause of asphyxia is due to smothering nor I am rejecting the cause of asphyxia as a result of hanging, which is suicidal in nature," he said.
22-year-old Nirupama was found dead at her home in Jharkhand's Koderma district April 29. The postmortem report says Nirupama was smothered to death.
While Sudha Pathak, the victim's mother has been arrested on charges of killing her, the Koredma police has also filed a case against her journalist boyfriend Priyabanshu Ranjan for abetment to suicide besides various non-bailable offences.
"I neither have rejected theory of suicide nor I have accepted the theory of homicide. It required a further deliberate discussion and forensic examination concluding the case, the forensic expert said.
Gupta said he has suggested for forensic analysis of the deceased's clothes, the pillow she used as well the scene of crime and blood stain.
After thorough forensic examination, a competent board is required to be formed and certain questions about the medical findings recorded in the report (autopsy) and the conclusion derived by the doctors in the form of smothering required to be seen whether it is substantiating the medical facts and medical literature and the medical book of forensic or not, he explained.
On the basis of all these results, the board can give a consolidated opinion on whether it is a case of smothering, a case of murder or hanging or suicide, Gupta added.