Police theory getting unravelled in financier’s death

Commission takes strong exception to doctors’ claims

The police theory that private financier Rajkumar had died of pneumonia and not due to custodial torture seems to be fast unravelling as the deposition of four doctors before the K. Narayana Kurup Judicial Commission inquiring into the incident continued here for the second day running on Thursday.

A day after their strong indictment by Mr. Kurup for having undermined the dignity and nobility of their profession and toeing the line of the police, leading to miscarriage of justice, the doctors from Nedumkandam taluk headquarters hospital, Kottayam Medical College Hospital, and Peermedu taluk hospital continued their disposition before the commission.

The doctor from the Peermedu taluk hospital said the victim was immobile when he was brought for examination at the casualty. He could not be lifted out of the ambulance stretcher despite efforts by five persons as his body had gained weight owing to which he had to be examined inside the ambulance itself.

Mr. Kurup observed that the bloated body owing to potential accumulation of fluid was yet another proof that the victim was by then suffering from kidney failure.

Significantly, the doctor who examined the victim a day before his death vouched that he had no signs of pneumonia at that time. The victim died on June 21 last year.

Mr. Kurup reserved the harshest criticism for the doctor from the urology department of the Kottayam Medical College. Asked why the victim was not admitted despite the presence of blood in his urine, the doctor said almost all urology patients showed that symptom.

This, however, did not go down well with the commission head who said the doctor should not have made such a generic assessment but examined the patient thoroughly and adopted a holistic approach. Though the doctor had prescribed ultrasound scan, the outcome was inconclusive because of ‘poor acoustics’ owing to obesity. Mr. Kurup observed that what passed of as obesity could be a case of body getting bloated owing to multiple organ failure.

The commission had on Wednesday come down heavily on the doctors for not properly examining the victim and simply obliging to the demands of the police. Had any of them bothered to examine the prisoner, it would have revealed the complications he suffered owing to the multiple blunt injuries and other injuries consistent with custodial torture as proved by a second autopsy conducted by a three-member team of forensic experts on the direction of the commission, he observed.

The first autopsy had attributed the death to pneumonia and was silent on the multiple blunt injuries probably caused by custodial torture.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 7:11:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/police-theory-getting-unravelled-in-financiers-death/article30766906.ece

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