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Poison theory: Mystery shrouds Mahajan episode

Mystery surrounding the death of Vivek Moitra and illness of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan's son Rahul Mahajan, deepened with the postmortem report suggesting traces of poison.

india Updated: Jun 03, 2006 19:02 IST

Mystery surrounding the death of Vivek Moitra and illness of Rahul Mahajan deepened on Saturday with the postmortem report suggesting traces of poison while doctors treating the son of the late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan could not spell out the cause of his clinical condition.

On the investigation front, police were on the lookout for the fourth man who allegedly supplied drugs to Moitra and Rahul after his three associates, who attended a late-night party at the Mahajan residence, turned themselves in and were being questioned.

A source at AIIMS, where the autopsy on Moitra was done, said the postmortem report was "suggestive of poisoning".

"There are traces of poison and we have sent the viscera to Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory (CFSL) to determine the type of poison," the source said.

But a top doctor at Apollo hospital, where Rahul was admitted in a critical condition in the wee hours on Friday, said that doctors were unable to ascertain the cause of his condition.

Apollo hospital director Anupam Sibal told a news conference that Rahul was admitted in critical condition with "some kind of intoxication", but "we cannot really say what it (ailment) was."

"The tests for all the toxic screen are negative including that for cocaine and ecstasy," he said.

"We are unable to identify what caused the clinical situation," he said, adding the 31-year old had been tested negative for all "identifiable" drugs. "We will not be able to say anything (if he has taken anything else) as tests are not available for everything," Sibal said.

Present Status

Rahul is under observation for 72 hrs. He is on life support system with low level of oxygen in blood 
Forensic team probing the case 
Use of drug not ruled out 
3 men visited Rahul, Maitra on Thursday night 
They left telling the servants that Maitra and Rahul were not doing well
Household staff detained by Delhi Police, house searched 
White powder recovered could be cocaine: Police 
Three samples sent for toxicology tests to independent lab 
BJP leaders visited Rahul in hospital 
No sign of disturbances in house: Police 
Police file case under Section 175 of CrPC 
Rahul, Vivek brought to hospital at 3 am 
Rahul Mahajan is stable: Docs 
When tragedy struck Mahajans 

The party

Less than a month ago, Rahul Mahajan was a picture of composure, consoling his sister at his father Pramod Mahajan’s funeral. Early on Friday, that image was shattered as the 32-year-old was rushed to Apollo Hospital and put on life-support system.

Doctors suspected poisoning and the police said it could have been caused by a drug overdose in a late-night binge at the 7, Safdarjung Road house allotted to the late BJP leader. Bottles of champagne and two packets containing a white powder — suspected to be cocaine — were recovered from the house.

Also at the party were his father’s secretary Vivek Moitra and four other guests. Moitra — a confirmed bachelor, with no known female friends — was declared brought dead at the hospital. Sources said it was a heady mix of cocaine and champagne that Mahajan and Moitra had consumed.

Three of the guests, identified as Rahul, Trishay and Karan (all in their early 20s), surrendered before the Mandir Marg police late on Friday. Sahil (the fourth guest and a friend of Moitra’s from Mumbai) was absconding.

The trio’s lawyer, Ranbir Singh Kundu, told reporters that Sahil had asked them to accompany him to a party at “a VIP's place”. They reached Mahajan’s place around 11 pm. on Thursday. Moitra then demanded that they get cocaine.

The four visitors left the house around 11.45 p.m. to get the drug but Rahul opted out on the way, the lawyer claimed. The police said servants at the house too confirmed that the guests had left the house for some time.

Three of them returned with coke around 12.30 a.m. after which Mahajan and Moitra snorted it. The lawyer said the three were not drug peddlers but had only fetched it after Moitra demanded it.

NDTV said one of the guests said that Mahajan used a Rs 500 note to snort the coke.

Around 3 a.m., one of the visitors rushed out of the drawing room to inform the servants that Mahajan and Moitra were unconscious. The servants then rushed the two to the hospital.