A second post-mortem of an IIT Kharagpur student whose body was exhumed for examination has indicated that his death was possibly due to an injury on the back of his head.
The Calcutta high court, which had ordered exhumation and second post mortem of the body of Faizan Ahmed, said it was surprised that the first autopsy missed the injury marks on the back of his head.
The third-year student's father had moved high court seeking the formation of a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the death of his son after his body was found in his hostel room on October 14, 2022.
In his report, the forensic expert who conducted the second post mortem on May 27 said, "23-year-old Faizan's death was due to profuse bleeding causing haemorrhagic shock and combined effect infused over chest and over head.
"Manner of death of Faizan was ante mortem injuries. Homicidal in nature," the report said.
Expressing surprise that the first post mortem missed out this vital aspect, Justice Rajasekhar Mantha on Tuesday ordered the director of Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory (CFSL), Rajarhat, to inquire into the circumstances under which the omission occurred.
Observing that "There are serious questions that need to be addressed by police and the IO (investigating officer)," the court said the matter now becomes a likely murder investigation.
Justice Mantha directed that the IO will be free to add additional sections to the FIR and include other persons as accused and report on the next date of hearing on June 14.
The court directed the Kolkata police to arrange to re-transport the body of Faizan back to Dibrugarh in Assam, from where the student hailed and had been buried, and to hand over the same to the family members for final rites.
Justice Mantha had on April 25 directed Dr Ajoy Kumar Gupta, a forensic expert appointed by the court for his opinion on the likely cause of Faizan's death, to conduct the second post mortem in the presence of doctors who conducted the previous autopsy.
Gupta, a retired forensic expert of the state CID, had stated in a preliminary report filed before the court that two injury marks on the back of the head of the victim were not mentioned in the first post mortem report.
It also said some cut marks on Faizan's arms were inflicted after his death.
Gupta's report said the seizure report of the police mentioned a chemical called Emplura (sodium nitrate) from the scene of the crime.
Court-appointed amicus curiae Sandip Bhattacharya submitted that sodium nitrate, a yellowish powder, is normally used to preserve meat.
There was some yellowish residue in a bucket found by Gupta and Bhattacharya during their visit to the room, the report stated.
It was stated before the court that when a body decomposes, it is impossible for fellow inmates of the hostel not to detect it, but there was mysteriously no smell from the body for three days.
"The presence of Emplura opens up serious questions as regards the time of death and whether it may have been used to preserve the body," Justice Mantha had observed.
Taking note of allegations of ragging, the court had on January 21 directed during a hearing of the case that appropriate counselling sessions, starting at the ground level, be ensured.