New Delhi: Continuing its investigation into the death of Judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya, The Caravan has reported that the post-mortem examination of the judge’s body at the Government Medical College (GMC) in Nagpur was manipulated by a doctor whose name had until now not appeared in relation with his mysterious death.
The report claims that while according to official records the post-mortem was conducted by Dr N.K. Tumram, it was actually led by Dr Makarand Vyawahare. “Vyawahare is the brother-in-law of Sudhir Mungantiwar, the finance minister of Maharashtra, who is practically the number two in the BJP-led state government under Devendra Fadnavis,” the report states.
The Caravan’s Nikita Saxena interviewed 14 current and former employees of the GMC, some of whom had ‘direct knowledge’ of Loya’s post-mortem.
“Vyawahare showed extraordinary interest in Loya’s corpse. According to those employees interviewed for the investigation who were present during the post-mortem, he personally participated in and directed the post-mortem examination – even shouting down a junior doctor who tried to question him during the examination of Loya’s head, the back of which had a wound. Vyawahare made certain that the report made no mention of this crucial and glaring fact,” the report claims.
According to one employee interviewed for the report, the injury on Loya’s head was on “the back, towards the right side” and was “the kind that is there when a stone hits and the skin tears.”
Further, the report notes that “there was a concerted effort to conceal any observations that could raise suspicions regarding the cause of Loya’s death, and that Vyawahare led the cover-up during the post-mortem examination.”
The final post-mortem report made no mention of the head injury and listed “coronary artery insufficiency” as the probable cause of death. Under the sub-head ‘details of wounds and injuries on the body’, the post-mortem report said, “no evidence of any bodily injuries”, and under another sub-head asking for details of the condition of the head, the report said, “no injuries.”
Ten of the 14 employees that The Caravan spoke to admitted that “Vyawahare was capable of interfering in the preparation of a post-mortem report and altering its contents.”
An employee of GMC said, “Kar sakte hai (He can do it), I would not say he can’t. He is a man who is capable of anything.”
Another employee said, “If there is political pressure, then he could manipulate the findings.”
The report also claims that Vyawahare has over the years used his closeness with Mungantiwar, minister of finance and planning in the BJP-led Maharashtra government, to get away with several allegations against him, including cases of sexual harassment.
“You can move mountains, you can say what you want … but the end result is zero. Kehte hai har kisi ke paap ka ghada kabhi na kabhi toh bhar jaata hai, lekin inke ghade mein to shayad neeche gaddha bana hua hai (They say that everyone’s vessel of sin overflows someday, but it looks like there is a hole in the bottom of his vessel),” one of the employees said.
When The Caravan asked Vyawahare about the allegations relating to Judge Loya’s post-mortem, he said, “I don’t have any role only … I didn’t even go into that case.”
In another recent report of The Caravan published on March 29, the magazine spoke to 17 current and former employees of Ravi Bhawan in Nagpur – where Loya supposedly stayed before his death. All the employees said that they had no information that a guest had “become grievously unwell, been taken to a hospital early in the morning [of December 1, 2014] ” – a claim that has been made by the four judges who said that they were with Judge Loya in the hours before he died.
“Normally, if there is an incident as big as this, the people on the night shift would talk about it with the people who come in the morning, but none of us had any idea that this had happened,” one of the employees interviewed said.