Did Sandeep Gadoli fire at police? Lack of gunshot residue suggests otherwise

Mar 25, 2016, 07:05 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon

Absence of gunshot residue in handwash usually means the deceased did not fire; Haryana police have alleged they fired at the gangster in retaliation after he fired at them

Ballistic experts attached to the state Forensic Science Laboratory have not found any gun shot residue in the handwash of gangster Sandeep Gadoli, who was allegedly shot dead in a shoot out at Hotel Airport Metro, Sakinaka, in the wee hours of February 7.

Sandeep Gadoli was gunned down by the Gurgaon cops in his hotel room
Sandeep Gadoli was gunned down by the Gurgaon cops in his hotel room

The handwash was taken during the autopsy process on February 10 at JJ postmortem centre by a panel of three forensic surgeons, to find if the deceased had opened fire before being killed. The Haryana police have alleged that Gadoli opened fire on the raiding police team and in retaliation, they opened fire, injuring him. He was later declared dead at Cooper Hospital.

A highly placed official at the laboratory confirmed the finding and explained that, “non presence of carbon or gun shot residue in the handwash of the deceased usually means that the deceased did not fire any round, but the report may come negative, if sufficient sample was not taken by the forensic surgeon or if he did not preserve the sample properly.”

The senior scientist said that the shirt the deceased wore had three to four bullet holes on it. Also the weapon (revolver) that was sent for ballistic examinations, matched the bullet remains recovered from the deceased’s body. However there is no mention about the entry and exit of the third bullet, as no remains were sent for testing. The scientist said that by Monday, the report will be submitted.

Gadoli’s brother Kuldeep, who is in Mumbai recorded his statement with the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Tuesday and narrated the incident that led to the killing.

A senior official attached to SIT said, “We are awaiting the ballistic report, and accordingly will investigate. The report may come early next week, as we have an extended weekend starting Thursday.”

Might go to SC
Both Gadoli’s sister, Sudesh Kataria and cousin Jyotsana Gulia returned to their home towns in Haryana and Delhi, due to personal reasons, while Kuldeep continues to stay in Mumbai and visit JJ mortuary regularly.
Kuldeep said, “I am waiting for the SIT to register an FIR against Haryana police involved in killing Sandeep, or else the family has decided to move the Supreme Court next week.”

Body decomposed
‘Body tag no 83’ has been lying unclaimed in the JJ Group of Hospitals mortuary since past one and half month, as the relatives have decided not to claim it, until they get Haryana cops booked for murder charges.

Sudesh said, “My son developed an infection in his blood and had to be hospitalised, hence I had to return. Before I left I got a chance to see the body of Sandeep, his face has turned black.”

When asked if the family requested embalming of the body with formalin solution, which usually preserves the body from early decomposition, Sudesh said an embalmed body would not be used for a second autopsy, if at all the court orders so later.

A senior forensic surgeon attached to the hospital said, “Blackening of face is an indication that the body has already starred decomposing, and bloating is due to presence of gas. Any further delay in collecting the body will result in body fluid oozing out, and also the abdomen will bloat with toxic gases resulting in foul stench, making air lifting the body out of Mumbai, a challenge.”

Mother unwell
Murthi Devi, the eighty-plus-years old mother of Gadoli was admitted to a local hospital after her blood pressure shot up and she developed other health related complications.

Sudesh added, “She still feels Sandeep is alive, and that he is unconscious in a Mumbai hospital, she doesn’t watch news nor read newspapers. Hence so far we have managed to keep the news of his death from her.
But now we fear, we can’t hold the news for a long time. All we are requesting is that the truth should come out and the guilty should be punished.”

Sudesh further raised concerns about the manner in which Haryana police have registered an FIR in the said case, “The shoot out happened in Mumbai, the FIR should be registered by SIT, appointed by Mumbai police. How come Haryana police have registered a case against their own police? Such happenings only raise our doubt in the entire probe and pressure that the Haryana police is trying to put on SIT and Mumbai police.”

What forensic surgeons found
>> A panel of three forensic surgeons from the Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Grant Medical College and Sir JJ Group of Hospitals, conducted the autopsy on Gadoli. The procedure was videotaped.

>> Dr SS Bhise (associate forensic professor), Dr PS Dode and Dr Ajay Kamble (both resident forensic surgeons) noted a total of three entry wounds and one exit wound. A bullet each was fired into the right and left side of Gadoli’s abdomen, which ruptured his liver. The third bullet entered the body from the left shoulder and came out from the chest’s left anterior side, damaging the left lung.

>> The provisional cause of death was given as “shock and haemorrhage due to firearm injuries (unnatural)”. The surgeons have sent the skin around the entry and exit area of the bullets to the FSL, Kalina. The burn marks caused by the gunpowder will help ascertain the range from which the bullets were fired.

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