As conspiracy theories fly thick and fast over the death of Karnataka IAS officer DK Ravi, a section of IPS officers is upset over the selective leaks to the media by some of their colleagues in the state police.
"Who said it's a suicide?" asked a visibly irritated officer connected to the probe. A group of senior police officers, who spoke to HT Friday but didn’t want to come on record, felt that their reputation has only been sullied by the actions of their colleagues.
Asked about reports of Ravi having made over 40 phone calls to a female colleague before his death, an officer said, "How does that show this was a suicide for personal reasons?" He also said that Ravi's cell phones were still being analysed. "Somebody said that he gave several missed calls. Anybody will tell you that Call Data Records (CDR) don’t show missed calls. It has to be figured out using sophisticated forensic tools. That process is not yet complete."
Another officer rubbished the media’s claims of a preliminary post-mortem report pointing to suicide. “First, there's nothing called a preliminary PM report. What we know is that there were no external injuries or signs of struggle. But that alone neither rules out murder nor confirms it." The officer said that the only reliable document is the post-mortem report, and that could take up to 10 days to arrive
One CBI officer tried to explain Police Commissioner M N Reddi's initial reaction of a "Prima facie case of suicide”. He said that the door was locked from inside, the knot on the noose was on the left side, the ligature mark (scar on the neck) showed the imprint of the fabric used as a noose, there was a dribbling of saliva and the room was undisturbed. "All this takes 15 minutes to figure out," he said. At the same time, he argued that these factors remaining the same, somebody could well have drugged Ravi and hanged him.
Another officer explained that even with all the evidence on the spot pointing to a suicide, this could theoretically be a murder. "The viscera need to be analysed for traces of poison. The tissue samples have to be analysed. There's so much work left but everyone wants instant results."
Using a cricketing analogy, the CBI officer said, "At different stages of an inquiry, an officer arrives at different conclusions. Some police officers, quite unethically, might have only told the media the latest score. That doesn't mean that the match is over."