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Dera agitators were shot in chest and head, says autopsy

chandigarh Updated: Aug 28, 2017 07:46 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Panchkula
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh,Dera Sacha Sauda,agitators

Injured followers of religious leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh recuperate after treatment at the civil hospital in Panchkula.(AFP)

A young dera follower pelts stones at security forces on a street. The next moment, he collapses after being hit by a bullet. A 11-second video of the incident has gone viral on internet.

The man in the video was a Dera Sacha Sauda follower, who became a part of the mob that turned violent post conviction of their sect’s chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case on Friday.

According to doctors, all the 32 agitators who died and most of the 250 injured, were hit by a bullet on the upper part of the body.

By Sunday evening, the post mortem of all bodies, including 4 women, one child and 27 men, were done at Panchkula Civil Hospital.

“Cause of death in all the cases was gun-shot injuries in the upper part of the body. We cannot tell exact number as in how many got injuries in head or chest as this is confidential. But all have received injuries in head and chest,” said Dr Sunil Gambhir, senior medical officer and forensic expert at Panchkula Civil Hospital.

Sudden Death

“In case one receives bullet injuries in limbs, then there is no sudden death. All these were immediate deaths; expect one, who was operated in PGIMER,” he added.

The doctor also said that an injured Dera follower told him that the Haryana police did not fire, but paramilitary forces did.

Experienced police officers have called for sparing use of paramilitary forces in such situations as consequences are harsh.

“Central paramilitary forces are trained to shoot to kill. This is what they had done as the police was under immense pressure once crowd went out of control,” said a former IPS officer who probed the Jat quota agitation in Haryana, adding that this was not an ideal way to deal with the situation.

“Firstly, they should have taken preventive measure by not allowing lakhs of people to gather. Then they could have used non-lethal weapons like pellet guns, plastic bullets. Several lives could have been saved this way,” he said.

First Published: Aug 27, 2017 22:09 IST