On a day of high drama, the family of a top medical officer who died under mysterious circumstances, yielded to apparent police pressure to cremate him after receiving the postmortem report.
After the postmortem revealed that there were nine injuries on the body of deputy chief medical officer Y S Sachan, his wife Malti on Friday demanded registration of the case as one of "murder" through a written application to Lucknow Deputy Inspector General of Police D K Thakur.
Sachan's family dismissed the suicide theory projected by the police and demanded that a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry ordered.
Accusing the state government of framing her husband, she has alleged, "My husband has been killed in jail in order to protect some highly placed people who were responsible for large scale pilferage of funds in the state family welfare department."
According to her, Dr Sachan was initially charged only for allegedly committing financial irregularities in the department; but then he was dragged into the conspiracy hatched to murder chief medical officer Dr BP Singh. "My husband's murder is a part of another conspiracy aimed at shielding the real masterminds behind the bungling of funds, who were all holding important positions in the government," Malti added.
Top government officials, however, shirked away from making any comment on her plea. "We are not aware of any such application; it will be for the DIG to take a decision on it," said Principal Home Secretary Kunwar Fateh Bahadur.
Late on Friday afternoon, a police team reached the Sachan residence and handed over a copy of the postmortem report. An ambulance was also brought to the residence and the body was taken to Bhainsakund for cremation.
Sachan's brother R K Sachan, who had earlier stated that the body would be cremated only after a CBI inquiry is instituted, later said since the matter will come before the high court only on July 18 it was not possible to preserve the mortal remains till then.
Asked whether the family had dropped its insistence for a CBI probe, Sachan's relatives said, "We will continue to fight to see that the guilty are brought to justice".
A senior police officer dismissed media speculation that police contemplated to forcibly take the body away for cremation. "It is the order of the high court to give Sachan's family the post mortem report which has been done," the officer said.
Fifty-two-year-old Sachan was found dead under mysterious circumstances in the toilet of the Lucknow jail hospital. In the autopsy, injury marks were detected on the neck, elbows, thigh and left wrist besides a strangulation mark on the neck.
SHRC slaps notice on UP govt officials
Taking suo motu cognizance of Sachan's death, the State Human Rights Commission issued notices to five senior government officials asking them to respond by July 12.
Justice V Sahay, member of the Commission, issued notices to the chief secretary, principal secretary Home, ADG jails, district magistrate and SSP Lucknow, SHRC sources. "The ligature mark on Sachan's neck raises doubt and Sahay has sought to know from the government whether it is a case of suicide or murder," a commission official said.
The Commission will take up the case for hearing on July 14.
For the second consecutive day, the Mayawati government made it clear that it would not accede to the demand for a a CBI inquiry into Sachan's death. "There is no need for the CBI probe. This has been informed to you (media) yesterday also by the cabinet secretary," Bahadur told mediapersons.
With inputs from PTI