Police have claimed that more than six new witnesses have emerged during investigations into the mysterious death of a 47-year-old Delhi Police constable during angry protests against the brutal gangrape of the 23-year-old physiotherapist last week.
However, with most of them claiming to have witnessed 'the lynching of a policeman' at the sprawling vicinity of the India Gate monument, the Delhi Police crime branch was verifying each claimant's version with care, said senior police officers.
"The area is expansive and confrontations between the police and protesters occurred at several locations on the fateful day," said an officer.
"So, we are verifying each version through reconstruction of the turn of events that led to the death of the police constable as and when a new potential witness emerges,” the officers said.
The crime branch, however, is more or less certain about the fact that constable Subhash Chand Tomar died of “multiple broken ribs directly caused as a result of being attacked with a blunt object”.
“As per his post-mortem report, constable Tomar incurred at least three broken ribs. In fact, he had sustained external injuries near both his lungs too," said SBS Tyagi, deputy commissioner of police (crime and railways).
Constable Tomar had apparently collapsed on Tilak Marg during the protests, according to two eyewitnesses. The police also claimed that the policeman had been trampled upon by the crowd. A single witness, one Salim Alvi, had supported the police version.
Doctors at the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital and two other eyewitnesses -- journalism student Yogendra Tomar and one Pauline --- had claimed that Tomar had died while chasing a crowd instead of being beaten or trampled upon by protesters. Doctors had attributed his death to a cardiac arrest.
While sources claimed that Tomar did, in fact, have a history of heart ailment, the post-mortem report has positioned the police in a better position to counter the claims of both eyewitnesses.