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Experts panel formed to probe sibling deaths

After almost a month of slipshod sleuthing, investigative authorities finally seem to be getting their act together. A high-level meeting of experts was held yesterday at the Police hospital in Nagpada to get to the bottom of the Versova siblings death case.


Seeking answers: A high-level expert committee has been formed to probe the deaths of Rehab and Rameez Chougle 

The Versova police had earlier written to the deans of Nair Medical College, JJ Hospital and Grant Medical College, and the State Forensics Science Laboratory (FSL), requesting them to suggest names of experts who could form a high-level medical committee to probe the mysterious deaths of Rameez (25) and Rehab Chougle (27).

Confirming the development, a senior police official said, “We received the names from the respective medical colleges and FSL, and accordingly the committee was formed. Our future line of action would depend on the advice given by these experts.”

According to sources attached to Nagpada Police hospital, the expert committee includes police surgeon Dr S M Patil who will chair the committee, followed by Dr Shailesh Mohite, head and professor of Forensics Medicine at Nair Medical College. Two committee members are Dr Gajanan Chavan, associate professor of Forensics Medicine from Grant Medical College, and Suhas Bhakre, head and expert of Toxicology, State FSL, Kalina.

Last afternoon, investigating police officers attached to Versova police station arrived at Nagpada police hospital with relevant case papers, including treatment papers obtained from Criticare and Kokilaben hospitals, statements of treating doctors, family members and even the cause of death certificate issued for Rameez. Each member of the expert committee has been given copies of these documents for scrutiny. Insiders revealed that each set runs into a few hundred pages.

According to a source, experts at the meeting threshed out every aspect to get to the bottom of the case, and would also review possible negligence of treating doctors or autopsy surgeons.

They will also be studying the circumstances under which Rameez was declared dead by a family doctor. The doctor certified the cause of death as natural, without treating him — this is a violation of the guidelines laid down by the Indian Medical Council. Experts will also examine lab results of the chemical analysis of Rehab’s stomach wash collected from Criticare hospital.

A final decision on the exhumation of the siblings’ bodies will be taken after these facts are reviewed. The experts will be convening again after going through the documents, following which a final report will be submitted. 

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