The controversial killing of a Bihari youth by police in a BEST bus had a new twist on Thursday with a forsensic doctor saying he may have been shot at from a close range only to retract his finding later in a case that has triggered an uproar in Bihar over his death.
"Near one of the bullet wounds found in the head, we found marks of gunpowder which indicate he(Rahul Raj) may have been shot from a close distance but it cannot be said how close," Dr BG Chikalkar, associate professor of forensic medicine at the JJ Hospital, said in a finding that could potentially stoke further tension after Bihar leaders and the youth's parents cried foul after the police action.
But a few hours later, the Hospital Dean Dr BM Sabnis claimed that Dr Chikalkar, who was one of the four doctors involved in the autopsy on the 23-year-old youth, had written to him that he has retracted his statement.
In the wake of Dr Chikalkar's first statement which was on camera, police also swung into an apparent damage control act disagreeing with the doctor's contention that bullet wounds on the youth's body had blackening around them.
Blackening of wounds suggested shots were fired at a close range, Chikalkar had earlier said.
"We received the post-mortem report today in which there is no mention of blackening of skin around bullet entry wounds," said Joint Commissioner of Police Rakesh Maria.
The skin around the five entry wounds has been taken and will be sent to the Kalina forensic laboratory for analysis after which the distance from which bullets were fired can be ascertained, Maria told reporters.
The finding reported by the doctor on the possibility of Rahul being shot at close range gave the victim's family in Patna fresh ammunition to attack the Maharashtra government saying their stand has been justified.