Postmortem report signed by 3 doctors says they conducted autopsy on woman 6 days before her death; the report is now crucial evidence in an abetment to suicide case filed by the victim's parents
Over a month after the unnatural death of 24-year-old Gulnigar Abul Khan in November last year has thrown the gauntlet to investigators who must solve this riddle: Was she killed or did she commit suicide? The puzzle arises out of a seeming blunder on the part of forensic doctors who performed Gulnigar's postmortem. The postmortem reports are dated November 23, 2011. The FIR and the death certificate state that Gulnigar died on November 29, 2011.
Fighting for justice: Allahrakha Khan believes that his sister did not commit suicide but was murdered by her husband and in-laws. The victim's family is now seeking a reinvestigation of the case. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
The mismatch has fuelled the suspicions of Gulnigar's parents who allege that she was murdered by her husband. And to get to the answers, cops need to start from square one and reinvestigate the matter, they say.
As per the FIR registered with Nirmal Nagar police station on Nov 29, Gulnigar, a resident of Naupada in Bandra (East), committed suicide the same day by hanging herself from the ceiling of her house. Since Gulnigar's parents stay in her neighbourhood, her in-laws informed them about the incident, and together they rushed her body to Bhabha hospital where she was declared dead before admission. Her body was sent to Sion hospital for autopsy.
Following the incident, the investigators arrested Gulnigar's husband Abul Muslim (28) on the charges of abetment to commit suicide, after her parents filed a case against him.
But on December 27, when her parents were handed over the autopsy reports signed by three senior doctors of Sion hospital's forensic department, they were stunned. The report was dated November 23 (copy with MiD DAY), a whole six days before the victim's demise. The apparent human error has reinforced the parents' notion and they have been asking the police to book Gulnigar's husband for murder. Investigators are probing the matter before any further action.
'She was killed' Gulnigar's brother Allahrakha Khan said, "My sister was not so weak that she would do something like this. She has been killed. The cops have been lackadaisical in pursuing the investigations since day one. They have not even recorded our statements accurately. Also the medical reports that we got access to recently speak of such a big blunder. There is something that is very wrong and the entire case needs to be reinvestigated."
According to Gulnigar's parents, there were frequent fights between their daughter and son-in-law, Abul, who was involved in an extramarital affair. Gulnigar had complained about it to her parents, following which there were frequent fights between the couple, her parents said.
"Just a few hours before the incident, I saw a wound on her foot. When I inquired about it, she revealed that Abul had beaten her with a belt after a fight over his affair," Allahrakha added.
After almost a month of pursuing the cops to register a murder case against the in-laws, the victim's family was shocked to see the medical reports.
"How can the autopsy reports date six days ahead of the incident? The cops should probe the matter. We have made a fresh complaint and have attached the faulty medical reports to it, seeking reinvestigation," said another of the victim's brothers, Sabir Khan (31).
The victim's death certificate issued by the BMC states the date of death as November 29, 2011
Copspeak An investigating officer of the case on the condition of anonymity said, "Nothing suspicious has been revealed in the postmortem report. We are waiting for the chemical analysis report in the meantime. Our investigations are underway and we are recording a few more statements. Regarding the dates on the autopsy report, we have written two letters to Sion hospital, but they are yet to respond."
Hospital says Doctor Sandhya Cama, dean of the Sion hospital, said, "I have not heard about the incident. I will look into the matter." The doctors who signed the autopsy report were not available for comment.