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Night of drug, drinks and a death

New Delhi, June 2: Exactly a month since Pramod Mahajan passed away after being shot by his brother, his secretary Bibek Moitra died after a night of suspected drug-and-drink orgy with the late BJP leader’s son.

Rahul Mahajan, whose condition was described to be serious but stable, is on ventilator in the intensive care unit of Apollo Hospital where his unfortunate mother Rekha rushed from their home in Mumbai.

The night of June 1-2 was tragically dramatic as the morning of April 22 when Praveen Mahajan pumped bullets into his elder brother whose ashes were to be immersed in the Brahmaputra in Guwahati today by his son.

Rahul, 26, arrived in Delhi yesterday en route to Assam and appeared to have decided to have a private party before that with his late father’s shadow, Moitra, a Bengali who grew up in Mumbai.

Bottles of champagne and a polythene packet containing a white, powdery substance were found in the drawing room where they were sitting with three men for a part of the time.

A preliminary report sent to the home ministry by Delhi police commissioner K.K. Paul suggested Moitra died of cocaine overdose, though doctors had not been able to identify the substance.

Rahul’s treatment has become difficult for this reason.

For much of the day, the police puzzled over the identity of the three guests, who made a dramatic, late-night surrender.

The three young men ' Rahul, Trishay and Karan ' claimed they were with their two hosts who had snorted cocaine.

A fourth person, Sahil, known to Bibek who had asked him to “get stuff”, meaning drugs, had asked them to come along for a “fancy party”.

The three men told the police on surrender that they were the ones who took Bibek and Rahul to the hospital, but fled as they were terrified.

“Rahul Mahajan was the first to start snorting cocaine. Then Bibek and Sahil joined in,” said Ranvir Singh Kundu, the lawyer representing the youths.

Their version of the night did not match what the police had been saying all day on the basis of what they had gathered from the servants.

The sequence of events the police had given out suggested that around 8.45 pm, Rahul sat down to share his first drink with Bibek, who was very close to the family.

He lived in Pramod’s official bungalow, 7 Safdarjung Road, with Rahul whenever they came to Delhi. Rahul has applied, in his mother’s name, for extending his stay in the bungalow.

In keeping with the political ambitions Rahul has of late shown to be harbouring, turning up at the BJP national executive earlier in the week, his visits to the capital have become more frequent, requiring him to have accommodation here.

The servants told the police that around 2 am, a sick Rahul woke up one of them, Ganesh, complaining of nausea and severe stomach cramps. Ganesh and Anil, the other servant, rushed inside to discover Bibek frothing at the mouth and the drawing room covered with vomit.

Ganesh rang up Pramod’s close associate Sudhanshu Mittal who told him to take the two to Apollo Hospital, adding that he would be there to receive them.

Mittal later sent one of the servants back to the house to recover the white powder. He explained this to the police as a move to let the doctors know what they were consuming so that treatment became easier. The police, however, said they had disturbed the crime scene.

Bibek was dead by the time they reached around 2.45 am and Rahul was barely conscious.

Bibek might have lived had he been taken to a hospital that was close, like the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, a stone’s throw, instead of to Apollo, which is 8 km away.

It is not possible to say at this moment who are lying ' the servants or the three youths. But it is probable that the boys might have persuaded the servants to keep them out of the story as much as possible before panicking and deciding to surrender.

Since Mittal was at the hospital to receive Rahul and Bibek, he should be able to say who brought them ' the servants or the boys or both.

The servants had told the police the guests had left a little after 1 am.

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