Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's killer Satwant Singh was curious to know how many bullet injuries she had suffered, claims the AIIMS medico who carried out post-mortem on her body that suffered 30 such fatal wounds.
Dr T D Dogra who is now Head of Forensic Department at AIIMS was Assistant Professor when he was deputed to carry out the postmortem along with two other experts.
Dogra came face-to-face with Singh while deposing before the trial court as a prosecution witness, he told PTI. During a recess, he went to toilet where he met Singh.
An unrepentant Satwant Singh had said in a satirical tone, "Maaf Keejiye, Doctor Saab meri wajah se apko takleef ho rahi hai (I am sorry Doctor for the troubles you are facing because of me), according to Dogra.
He asked Dr Dogra in Hindi heavy with Punjabi accent, "How many bullet injuries did she receive?" to which he did not get any reply from the medico.
Dr Dogra recalled the moments of this brief interaction with the hardened militant who along with his friend Beant Singh had pumped in 30 bullets on Indira's body.
Security guards shot Beant Singh after the assassination while police arrested Satwant Singh, who had received 10 bullet injuries.
Singh was sentenced to death along with another accomplice Kehar Singh that was carried out on January 6, 1989 in Tihar Jail.
"Initially, I knew through a policemen that she has been brought to AIIMS after being shot. I received a call to conduct the post-mortem at 2.30 pm on October 31, 1984. I was accompanied by Dr D V Saharan and Dr P C Dixit," he said.
According to post-mortem report prepared by him, death of the then Prime Minister resulted from excessive bleeding caused by bullet injuries.
"The assailants had shot 31 bullets at her of which 30 had hit. 23 bullets had passed through her body while seven were trapped inside. The rib cage was ruptured, portion of liver was missing, diaphragm was pierced by bullets," Dr Dogra said.
The post-mortem had started at three in the afternoon in the operation theatre and not in the mortuary, which is the usual practise, he said, adding the process was concluded at 5.30 in the evening.