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Updated: May 18, 2012 08:40 IST

Loitam died of hereditary cardiac problem: report

Mohit M. Rao
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North East students demanding a thorough probe into the death of a manipuri student Richard Loitham who studied in Acharya NRV school of architecture, at Town Hall in Bangalore on 29 April 2012. Photo by: Ananth Shreyas
The Hindu
North East students demanding a thorough probe into the death of a manipuri student Richard Loitham who studied in Acharya NRV school of architecture, at Town Hall in Bangalore on 29 April 2012. Photo by: Ananth Shreyas

Family to request Manipur government for independent probe

The Richard Loitam case seems to have come a full circle, with the forensic report submitted to the police saying that the Manipuri student had died of “cardiac arrest” arising from “hereditary heart problems”.

Though the details of the pathological report have not yet been released, sources who have accessed the report say that the conclusions in the report absolve two students, currently charged with murder. “It states that Richard died from a heart attack, which they say is a hereditary [condition],” said the source.

The report also states the injuries in the post-mortem report were not severe enough to have led to his death, added the source.

Richard Loitam (19), a student of Acharya's NRV School of Architecture in Chikkabanavara, was found dead in his hostel room on April 17. While, his family and friends claim he died after two seniors assaulted him, the police attributed his death to injuries sustained in a road accident two days earlier.

Case to be reverted

It was after immense pressure from protest groups that the Madanayakahalli police had converted the case from ‘unnatural death' to ‘murder', and had booked Vishal Banerjee and Sayed Afzal Ali, who were involved in the scuffle with Loitam.

However, with the report not substantiating the murder charge, a Bangalore Rural police official said the case would soon be reverted back to ‘unnatural death'. “We're waiting for the official order from higher-ups, but all indications point to this.”

D. Prakash, Superintendent of Police, Bangalore Rural, was unavailable for comment.

Mother upset

However, the report has drawn flak from R.K. Vidyabali, Loitam's mother, who called it “baseless” and was “covering up facts”.

“My son was an active football player and was in good physical condition. Moreover, in his school here, he had to go through a medical check-up every six months. There has been no indication of heart problem so far. How can it suddenly arise,” she asked.

Medical background

Dr. Vidyabali is an Assistant Professor of Microbiology in Imphal and her husband is a dental surgeon. “We both are doctors and are fairly knowledgeable in medicine. If our son had shown symptoms of a problem, we would have known it. The report calls it hereditary, but there is no significant history of heart disease in our family.”

She said the family would now request the Manipur government to conduct an independent forensic inquiry into the death.

His photos on the fateful day of the death clearly indicate to what extent he was beaten/ hit to death. It was a case of murder that has been turned to natural death now to safeguard the culprits. This is what happens in our country where the real guilty go scot free without any punishment . But this should not be allowed to happen if there has to be law and justice in our society. Loitam's case should be made to dealt with properly.

from:  Jyothi.A
Posted on: May 19, 2012 at 20:05 IST

We cannot come to conclusions just with the forensic report.The
hereditary problem might have been passive and might have aggravated on
that fateful day because of the bashing.Do you (the endorsers of the
report as final) mean to say that if a person having epilepsy(say) is
wantedly stimulated so that he can have an epileptic fit (and in the
process die!)is a legal murder!!!???

from:  Akshay Bhatt
Posted on: May 18, 2012 at 16:44 IST

money can buy anything in this country. He had always been into sports
and excelled in football as well as other sports in school.Moreover his
parents are doctors and the school always conducted a COMPULSORY routine

from:  Mathai
Posted on: May 18, 2012 at 16:02 IST

Death due to a hereditary cardiac problem on a day of a serious bash?
It's possible but then it is a sensitive issue and this forensic report
needs substantiation from another reputed lab. Only then, the case will
reach its natural conclusion.

from:  Andy Chingangbam
Posted on: May 18, 2012 at 10:09 IST
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