More than eight months after a 27-year-old ayurvedic doctor, a Himachal native, was found dead under mysterious circumstances at her SAS Nagar Phase-1 accommodation on June 8, it has taken Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s prodding to finally get the district police to register a case.
Nitish Kumar, 29, an ayurvedic doctor running a private clinic, has been booked for abetment to suicide of Mandi native Yashumati Sharma who had been working at Indus Hospital in Phase 3B2 for two years before she purportedly committed suicide. Kumar and Yashumati were considered to be friends and he was the last person she had spoken to, on phone, before her roommate recovered her body.
“Finally, the police have acted, but only after the home ministry sent them a letter asking for an investigation report. I still do not believe that my daughter ended her life. She was murdered as part of a conspiracy,” Mordhawaj Shastri, the father of Yashumati, told HT over phone.
Shastri, a schoolteacher, claimed that he had written to Modi that her daughter’s death had not been investigated properly and the PM’s intervention led the home ministry to write to the state police. The police, however, claim that a delay in the receipt of forensic report led to the delayed registration of the case.
“We were waiting for the forensic report. We recorded the statements of all those who the family had named as suspects. Now, based on the forensic report and on the last conversation of the victim with the accused, a case for abetment to suicide has been registered,” said SAS Nagar SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar.
‘Sedatives found in body’
The forensic report has hinted at the presence of sedatives in Yashumati’s body with the police yet to ascertain who injected the fatal drug. Two syringes and injections had also been found. The body was first spotted by Pratiba, a dietician at the hospital and Yashumati’s friend, on the floor of her room.
“We had always suspected that Nitish was responsible for my daughter’s death and had given our statement to the police. When the police question him, we may get to know what really happened that night,” said Shastri. “A month prior to her death, I had got a call from her hospital telling me that my daughter was found unconscious and can attempt suicide again. Now, the call seems to be part of a conspiracy as she was threatened by her colleagues of dire consequences after an argument in a party six months prior to her death.”
In the initial stages of the case, Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh had also assured the family of justice and had directed Himachal DGP to coordinate with his Punjab counterpart regarding the investigation into the case.