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Moitra died of drug overdose: Police

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Jun 7 (UNI) Armed with a fresh forensic report that late Pramod Mahajan's aide Bibek Moitra died of drug overdose last Friday and evidence at the crime scene was disturbed on orders from his personal assistant Harish Sharma, police is expected to oppose bail to Rahul Mahajan when he is brought to court tomorrow.

''So far it looks like a case of (drug) overdose. The viscera report of Mr Moitra also confirms presence of heroin and cocaine,'' Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Manish Agarwal said.

He pointed out that medical tests on Rahul as well as the other accused Sahil Zaroo confirmed the use of drugs.

''Our investigation has just begun. We are still collecting evidence,'' Mr Agarwal said, indicating that the police -- which believes that the quantity of drugs purchased for the Thursday night party at Mr Mahajan's residence was much more than that recovered -- may seek extension of Rahul's custody.

He also reiterated that the crime scene was tampered with by the time police arrived at the scene of crime, almost 2-3 hours after its occurance.

To a question, he said the conduct of doctors at Apollo Hospital was ''definitely under suspicion''. He said the doctors would be summoned for further questioning about the delay in informing police on June 1, but added that the first priority for police was to recreate the crime scene as accurately as possible.

Earlier today, the police arrested Harish and driver Ganesh for allegedly tampering with evidence. They were, however, granted bail on personal bonds of Rs 50,000 each and a surety of like amount.

Eight domestic servants picked up on Friday in connection with the case were released early today after five days of questioning.

Earlier yesterday, an anonymous letter received by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) claimed the servants were being detained illegally by police. The Commission, which usually does not take cognizance of anonymous letters, was yet to examine the complaint, sources said.

In other developments, the viscera report of Moitra prepared by the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory confirmed that heroin and cocaine were used at the late night party following which Rahul fell ill and Moitra died, sources said.

After a mandatory medical test at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, police today brought Rahul face to face with the three Nigerian drug peddlers as well as with accused Sahil Zaroo who had allegedly brought the drugs to the party.

Sources said he was also asked again about his version of the sequence of events at the 7 Safdarjang Road bungalow, allotted to his father.

The case against Harish and Deepak, both of whom faced extensive questioning, was related to the changes made in the crime scene before the arrival of police.

It was alleged that the bottle of champagne consumed at the party was removed from the room and put in the fridge while the glasses used were washed. Domestic servants questioned in the case had told police that this was done on Sharma's directions.

Vomit in the room where Rahul, Moitra and their friends partied was also cleaned. It was also alleged that they had tampered with the drugs.

Police have arrested seven persons in connection with the case.

Only Harish and Ganesh have got bail since they were charged with tampering with evidence, a bailable offence. The others, including Rahul, have been booked under various sections of the Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances Act.

While Rahul's police custody ends tomorrow, Zaroo is in custody till June 12. The Nigerians have been sent to police custody till June 15.

UNI VN VD HT2110

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