Brutal murder! Sion gangster Raja was shot before hacking

Updated: Dec 11, 2018, 19:22 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon

Autopsy unearths what cops missed: a bullet in the neck of DK Rao man TP Raja, who was murdered in his Sion Koliwada home

Brutal murder! Sion gangster Raja was shot before hacking
The X-ray of Raja's skull that shows the bullet lodged inside

The Wadala TT police had not noticed a bullet injury on Marimuthu Devendra alias T P Raja's neck the day his body was recovered from his Sion Koliwada flat, but the forensic team conducting the autopsy found exactly where it went in. An X-ray of the skull has revealed bullet fragments on the back of Raja's neck.

Prima facie, surgeons feel that he may have been shot from point blank range. Raja's body was sent for post-mortem to the LTMG centre in Sion on Friday, the day unknown assailants barged into his MHADA flat and hacked him to death. The cops had recovered his body from a sofa-cum-bed near the window, from where probably he wanted to call for help, but failed because of the severe injuries.

While the police panchnama only mentions multiple stab wounds and a slit throat, the team of forensic surgeons led by Dr Rajesh Dhere, professor and head of the Department of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, LTMG Hospital, was surprised to find a scorched necrotic hemorrhage around the area that had been slit. This raised suspicion about a possible bullet injury.

Raja's body was found at the window of his flat
Raja's body was found at the window of his flat

Detailed autopsy
They immediately asked for an X-ray of the skull and neck area to get a clearer picture of the incident. Requesting anonymity, a forensic surgeon said the X-ray report confirmed the presence of the remains of a bullet on the right-hand backside of the neck.

Sensing that the case was quite a serious one, the forensic team decided to conduct a detailed autopsy the following day. It was during this post-mortem that they extracted the remains of the bullet, which according to them, might have been fired from point blank range.

The bullet, which according to the forensic team, might have been shot from point blank range
The bullet, which according to the forensic team, might have been shot from point blank range

The bullet has been sent to the State Forensic Science Laboratory, Kalina, to ascertain the exact distance from which it was fired and also to find out its make. Also a sample of Raja's skin from where the bullet penetrated his neck has been preserved for a ballistic study. Even his blood samples have been preserved for grouping and ruling out any possibility of intoxication.

When asked how the bullet got lodged in his neck, a surgeon said, "We examined the cervical spine and it was found to be intact. If the spine had got damaged, then the bullet would have come out from behind, but this was not the case. Due to the impact of the force with which the bullet hit the cervical spine it got lodged on the right side of the neck."

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Close to stab wounds
The forensic team has also found a number of cut wounds on his palm, which indicated that he might have tried to resist the attack. Also, he had a number of stab wounds on his chest and abdomen. The surgeons are of the opinion that the cops might have missed the bullet injury because it is very close to the place where his throat has been slit.

Interestingly, the team even conducted a crime scene study by visiting the deceased's house, to understand the positions of the assailants and the victim during the incident.

When asked about the cause of death, Dr Dhere said, "We have said that death was due to 'haemorrhagic shock, following cut throat injury and fire arm injury associated with multiple stabs'."

Police speaks
When contacted, an officer from the Wadala TT police station confirmed that they had no clue about the bullet injury till the forensic experts told them. "We only found the live cartridges at the spot and have seized the same. Also, a knife has been recovered. We have registered a case under various sections of IPC and Arms Act."

Speaking to mid-day, Dr Ravindra Shisve, additional commissioner of police (central region) said, "We have made some headway in the case and are hopeful of detecting it at the earliest. Our team is on the right track."

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