Likhit’s family shocked by lapse in procedure

The family of Likhit Shashidhara, the Bangalorean found dead in a German town in January, has been told by the German Consulate here that the Siegen-Wittgenstein District Police did not conduct an autopsy as it was expensive. The Bangalore police also did not do the post-mortem assuming it had been done in Germany.

This shocking lapse came to light when the Shashidharas got a communication after 50 days and contacted the German Consulate here only to be told the Siegen-Wittgenstein police did not find it necessary to do an autopsy as Likhit had taken his own life and, moreover, it was expensive.

Likhit, a student of Mechatronics in Seigen University, was found dead in his apartment on January 8. Siegen-Wittgenstein District Police Inspector Blocher said in his report that the cause of death was suicide in “other manner”. The Situation Report, which The Hindu has access to, stated that he might have committed suicide because of “illness, depression or a nervous condition”.

‘Irresponsibility’

“It shows irresponsibility. It is an internationally followed procedure — post-mortem is necessary for every unnatural death,” Likith’s mother, Siddalingamma, a school librarian, told The Hindu . “We never imagined the police would send the body without an autopsy. When Likhit’s body arrived, the Subramanyapura police told us the post-mortem had been done and there was no need for another procedure. We unsuspectingly went ahead with the cremation.”

The family is waiting for Likhit’s belongings to arrive and are determined to fight the case to make the German police accountable.

The Siegen-Wittgenstein police apparently concluded that there was no evidence to suggest any third party involvement and that Likhit took his life with the TV’s cable wire.

Ms. Siddalingamma pointed out that her son had been paying the equivalent of Rs. 6,000 as medical insurance every month. “They could have used the insurance money if they were concerned about expenses. We wanted to check with Likhit’s flatmates for some information, but they wrote asking us not to disturb them as they were busy with exams.”

The family has now written to the Indian Embassy in Germany, the National Human Rights Commission and the Ministry of External Affairs seeking their intervention.

The Hindu made several attempts to contact Ms. Henseleist but could not reach her.

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