Namrata Damor: how a dubious doctor changed murder to suicide
- Medical student Namrata Damor was found dead on a railway track in Ujjain in 2012. She had allegedly bribed a Vyapam accused to secure admission.
- Autopsy report said she had been murdered. Forensic report overturned this, stating it was a suicide.
- CBI registered a case of murder on 17 July 2015, giving the lie to the forensic report.
- This is the first murder case registered in the Vyapam scam.
- Dr DS Badkul, who prepared the forensic report, admits he changed the autopsy report merely on the basis of pictures from the crime scene.
- Badkul has made mistakes in earlier cases. In 2011, he said Shehla Masood shot herself. Later, CBI said it was a murder.
- Other medical experts disagree with Badkul\'s approach in Namrata\'s case.
- Police filed a closure report completely ignoring the autopsy.
The Central Bureau of Investigation on 17 July registered a case of murder to probe the death of 19-year old MBBS Namrata Damor. Over 40 people connected to the Vyapam scam have died, but this is the first murder case that has been registered.
It is hardly surprising that the CBI has begun with this case. If there is one case in the entire Vyapam scam that reeks of a cover-up, it is the mysterious death of Damor. Consider the facts.
Damor was found dead on a railway track near Ujjain in 2012. The autopsy report prepared after her body was found clearly stated that she had been strangulated.
But the forensic report overturned the autopsy report and termed the reason of death as suicide - no one killed Namrata Damor. It turns out that this was done without any basis.
In an interview to Patrika, Dr DS Badkul, director of the state-run Medico-Legal Institute, admitted that he turned murder into suicide merely based on the photographs of the crime scene.
Now with the CBI registering a case of murder, the forensic report prepared by Badkul falls flat. This also raises serious doubts over the assertion of Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Babulal Gaur that "all deaths in connection with the Vyapam scam, were natural".
Two reports, two theories
The autopsy report prepared after recovery of Namrata's dead body clearly stated she died because of "violent asphyxia as a result of smothering".
"Not even a single bone or muscle was found damaged during the autopsy. It was a clear case of murder," claims Dr BB Purohit, part of a three-member team that conducted the post-mortem. Dr Anita Joshi and Dr OP Gupta, who were the other doctors involved in autopsy, have corroborated Purohit's statement.
According to some reports in the media, the autopsy also claimed that there was semen on her clothes.
However, the medico-legal report filed two months after the autopsy, stated that there were several wound marks on Namrata's body.
Not a single bone or muscle was damaged. It was clearly a murder, claims the doctor who conducted the autopsy
Badkul claims that the post-mortem report did not mention these wounds. However, he also says that he did not deem it necessary to speak to Purohit and his colleagues before submitting his report, which contradicted their findings.
"Our report will also be investigated when CBI takes up the matter," he says.
Badkul's predecessor, Dr Satpathi, disapproves of the manner in which the former prepared the forensic report.
"You cannot arrive at a final conclusion merely by looking at the scene of the crime. It is important to take into account evidence like clothes, as well as the findings of the autopsy report and the Panchnama," Satpathi says.
However, this is not the first controversial report Badkul has prepared.
Dr Badkul's dubious track record
In May this year, 21-year-old gym trainer Renu Sahu was attacked with acid. Initial reports suggested that one of the assailants, Sanjay Patil, tried to commit suicide by stabbing himself after the incident.
Badkul contradicted this, only to take a U-turn when eye-witnesses confirmed the suicide theory.
In 2011, when RTI activist Shehla Masood was shot outside her residence in Bhopal, Badkul's report claimed that she shot herself. However, a CBI probe revealed that it was a planned murder. It arrested three persons, including Shehla's friend Saba Farooqui, on the charge of murder.
The police's blind faith in Badkul
Coming back to Namrata's case, Badkul's past errors didn't stop the police from believing his version. Initially it had filed a case of murder but later stated that Namrata had fallen off the train and died. The closure report filed by the police in 2014, completely overlooked the post mortem report.
This is wrong, believes Satpathi.
"The investigating officer should have consulted the doctors involved in the autopsy before rejecting their report. The opinion of a doctor who has conducted the post mortem is far more important than that of a person who has given his view point based on imagination," Satpathi says.
After the death of Aaj Tak journalist Akshay Singh this Saturday, there are now renewed demands for reopening the case. Soon after meeting Namrata's father in Jhabua, Singh started frothing at the mouth, collapsed and died.
However, the police shows no signs of budging.
"We had closed the case because there were no clues pointing towards the murder. We will reconsider our stand only if court issues a directive," says V Madhu Kumar, IG Ujjain.
Earlier, some police officials had hinted that the case could be reopened.
Who was Namrata Damor?
Namrata Damor was a second year medical student at the MGM Medical College in Indore, when she was found dead in January 2012.
There are rumours that in 2010, she paid bribes to an individual who is now an accused in the Vyapam scam. According to media reports, she went missing after her annual results were declared on 7 January 2012.
Her brother, who had come to visit her, was unable to reach her and he filed a complaint with the police on 12 January 2012. Meanwhile, the police had found an unidentified body on a railway track in Ujjain the same day she had gone missing. Since nobody claimed the body, it was cremated after an autopsy.
Her brother identified her through one of the posters which the police had put up.