'What killed our only son?'

That the state’s Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Kalina is understaffed and overworked is known. But the resource crunch, notoriously hampering investigation of criminal cases, is even afflicting civilians, as the Dulanis will tell you.

The Dulani Family
Narender and Brasti Dulani with their son Krishna

It has been over a year that Narender and Brasti Dulani, parents of a 10-year-old who died following an operation in a city hospital in 2011, have been on edge waiting for a report from the FSL to know what really claimed their only son’s life.

Krishna was 10 when he died in November, 2011, under what the Dulanis claim to be mysterious circumstances. The lab report, which will state the cause of death and hopefully relieve them of their uncertainty, still eludes them. Obtaining the report, which usually shouldn’t takes more than two weeks to be furnished, has become the couple’s single-point agenda.

The Dulanis, once based in Dubai, have now moved permanently to Mumbai to an apartment in Kandivli (E), to seek a closure to their loss. Dulani said his son was diagnosed with a heart ailment at birth. Soon after, the couple brought him to India from Dubai for treatment. “Krishna was operated in Escorts Hospital when he was just seven months old, and was doing fine after that.

But he developed some complications, and in October, 2011 was advised to undergo a second operation in a Mumbai hospital. Though he showed positive results after the operation, he succumbed to respiratory cardiac arrest when his chest fluids were being drained at the hospital during a post-op procedure,” Dulani said.

Upon his request, Krishna’s body was sent for postmortem to Bhagwati Hospital. The death certificate issued by the hospital stated that the cause of death was subject to the pending report of “chemical analysis and examination of visceral organs” from the forensic lab.

The Dulanis’ family friend and legal advisor, Shoeb Sequeria, said, “Since Krishna expired on November 13, 2011, the family has been running from pillar to post to obtain the report, and writing letters to the authorities concerned. Krishna’s mother, Brasti, had to undergo intense counselling to come to terms with the tragedy, but it hasn’t helped. As parents they have a right to know why their son died, which is vital for them to move on in life.”

When MiD DAY visited the couple’s residence on Saturday evening, Brasti Dulani did not utter a word. She was unable to speak as she continues to live in a state of shock.

FSL speak
Kalina Forensic Science Laboratory director Dr MK Malve said that though he was not aware of the case, he would look into the matter and ensure that the report of histopathology chemical analysis and examination of visceral organs is handed over to the grieving parents at the earliest. “Normally, all reports are ready within two weeks. But there are times when lack of staff and additional burden of work lead to delays,” Malve said. 

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