Special Correspondent

Only forensic analysis can help

Were they both poisoned?Accounts of servants vary with police versionDelhi Police incapable of handling investigation

NEW DELHI: If Bibek Moitra and Rahul Mahajan did not take cocaine or did not die of overdose as the Apollo doctors suggest were they both poisoned, as Gopinath Munde has suggested? Sahil, who was mentioned in all the media reports as the man who procured the deadly stuff for Moitra and Mahajan, and who on Saturday surrendered before the police in Srinagar, has denied supplying any "stuff" to the Mahajan household.

Seasoned police officers insist that the word of doctors of a private hospital, however reputed, should not be taken as the final conclusion. Only the forensic analysis of the viscera contents can establish whether the two consumed any drugs or poison.

Experienced investigators also suggest that if both Mahajan and Moitra were habitual "substance abusers" then it is unlikely that their bodily response would be so precipitous unless, and this is an important caveat, someone had tampered with the "stuff." And the "someone" had to be familiar with the pair's habits and with their evening programme.

This assumes a mastermind, choreographing every single move that deadly evening. This assumes that someone stands to gain from silencing the two. There are many discrepancies. The accounts of the servants [at 7, Safdurjung Road] vary with the police version. Was it an innocuous suggestion by the three young men to the servants to clean up the "scene of crime"?

Was the sachet of "white powder" planted on Moitra before the slump body was taken to hospital? Why go to a particular hospital, and not to the nearer R.M. Lohia and the AIIMS? Were the "three young men" injected into the scene to create witnesses?

Talk unconfirmed, unconfirmable in knowledgeable circles is that Moitra and young Rahul were visiting people in the capital with whom Pramod Mahajan had presumably parked his unmarked "maal." Dead people do not make demands, someone must have decided.

The leakiest force

What is also becoming obvious is that the Delhi police are incapable of handling investigation in this high-profile case. For the simple reason that the Delhi police, from the Station House Officer onward, is the leakiest force in the country.

It also tends to buckle under media scrutiny and puts faith in the reporter's views rather than rely on its own professional expertise and judgment.

The sooner the investigation is handed over to some special agency like the CBI, the better.