Girl found dead in bathroom: Forensic surgeon to inspect home of deceased

Jan 08, 2019, 08:00 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon

The 21-year-old college girl was found dead in the bathroom of her house in Mulund last week

Girl found dead in bathroom: Forensic surgeon to inspect home of deceased

The forensic surgeon who conducted a postmortem analysis of Nipi Gala, the 21-year-old who was found dead in the bathroom of her residence in Mulund allegedly due to suffocation, will be visiting her house to inspect the bathroom. The move comes after Police Surgeon Dr S M Patil's intervention stating that the death of a youngster should be investigated thoroughly, given that no sufficient leads have been found to corroborate the circumstances in which she died.

"The doctor from Rajawadi Postmortem Centre has been directed to visit the scene of the incident to ascertain the circumstances in which Gala might have got suffocated. While the parents' statement mentioned that she suffered from asthma and that only her grandmother was at home with her at the time of the incident, these facts need to be verified. Her asthma medicine needs to be checked too along with recording the statement of the doctors treating her," said Dr Patil.

"The autopsy surgeon has not found anything suspicious during the postmortem analysis and has sent the organs (viscera) for histopathology to JJ hospital to rule out any underlying ailments. The blood samples too have been sent to the state Forensic Science Laboratories, Kalina to rule out poisoning or presence of drugs," he added. Gala's parents, in their statement, had also informed that she had recently returned from a trip to Lonavala with her friends. "A visit to her house will help the forensic surgeon prepare a final cause of death report," said Dr Patil.

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'Amend CrPC provisions'
Dr Indrajit Khandekar, professor and Clinical Forensic Medicine Unit in-charge at MGIMS (Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences) Sewagram, Wardha says, "The irony is that all autopsies are conducted as per provisions laid under section 174 of Criminal Procedure Code and the orders from police, only to ascertain the cause of death and nothing beyond it." The need of the hour, however, is to "bring an amendment to the existing provisions in CrPC, which is almost 119 years old." In cases where there is ambiguity about the circumstances leading to death amidst a certain age group, "the law enforcing agencies should be more careful", he says.

Dr Khandekar has submitted a detailed 82-page report to the Prime Minister's Office and the Union Home Ministry, which is presently being studied by the Law Commission of India. He has also mentioned in detail the functioning of autopsy centers across 42 foreign countries, which are working more professionally, with autopsy surgeons working closely with other agencies.

Police await reports
Shripad Kale, Senior Police Inspector at Mulund Police station said that given her asthma and the trip to Lonavala for New Year's eve, exhaustion and suffocation could not be completely ruled out. The exhaust fan of the washroom too was found to be switched off at the time of her death. The parents had also mentioned the presence of a gas geyser in the washroom.

"It was only after an hour when the girl's father returned home that he was told of her being in the bathroom for over an hour. He then broke the door, found her motionless and thus took her to a nearby hospital where she was declared dead," said a police officer, adding, "We are awaiting the postmortem analysis findings and the FSL reports. We have also spoken to the friends who accompanied her to Lonavala and found nothing suspicious there." A case has been registered under section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code at the Mulund police station.

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