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Autopsy reveals 5 stabs

- Police’s strangulation theory finds no mention in report

Sourav Chowdhury’s murder has been captured in mind-numbing detail in a post-mortem report that confirms he was fatally stabbed five times before the body was lacerated, but makes no mention of “strangulation” to back up the confession police have extracted from an accused.

Two of the stab wounds — 3x2 inches and 2.5x2 inches in size — were in the 22-year-old anti-hooch campaigner’s thoracic cavity, the injuries revealing the brute force with which he was attacked.

The report states that one of these injuries was over the left anterior wall of the thoracic cavity, suggesting that the weapon used by the killers had pierced his chest deep.

The beheaded and dismembered body of Sourav was spotted around 6am on July 5 off the rail tracks between Bamangachhi and Duttapukur railway stations in North 24-Parganas. For a little over 24 hours, the dismembered body was kept wrapped in plastic in a district hospital in Barasat, apparently because no forensic expert was available to carry out the post-mortem.

The body was finally sent for post-mortem to NRS Medical College and Hospital in the afternoon on July 6.

In his report (PM number 1448), Anindya Kumar Goswami of NRS states that death was “due to incised stab injuries… and homicidal in nature”.

The report goes on to mention that while most of the post-mortem injuries were lacerating in nature — possibly caused by the impact of a train — the second-year BA student of Birati’s Mrinalini Datta Mahavidyapith had incised injuries on his right shoulder and near the collar bone.

The report also mentions “bruises on neck” but not strangulation, a theory the North 24-Parganas police have come out with based on the confession by one among four accused arrested on Monday.

Goswami’s report on UD case number 68/14 dated July 5, 2014, says that the body had evidence of “advanced decomposition and peeling of epidermis” and “immature maggots”. Sourav had gone missing around 11.30pm last Friday and he was found dead the next morning.

Forensic experts said the decay was because of “environment” factors. “If a body is wrapped in plastic with no air passing through in a closed room, decomposition can begin early,” a veteran in forensic science said. “If the body is wet, the process of decomposition is hastened 50 per cent.”

One of the few details in the post-mortem report that don’t make the reader recoil is that Sourav had “one floral tattoo present over… (his) right arm”.

Police officers in North 24-Parganas declined to comment on the contents of the report. “It is yet to reach us,” an officer at Duttapukur police station said.

The police arrested two more suspects, Bhuban Saha and Amal Barui, on Tuesday. The five accused arrested on Monday, including Shyamal’s sister Polly Maity, were produced in the Barasat district court and remanded in police custody for 14 days.

The police said Polly had arranged a vehicle for Shyamal and his accomplices to flee after the murder.

Investigators ruled out a love affair gone wrong as the trigger for Sourav’s murder, a claim made by a Trinamul minister. “You can check this out. This is 100 per cent correct that the boy was murdered because of a love affair. There is no other reason,” food minister Jyotipriya Mallick had said in the corridor of the Assembly on Monday.

Sourav’s family reacted to Mallick’s remark with shock. “My brother was murdered by goons who enjoy political patronage and the affair story is being floated to divert the issue,” elder brother Sandip said.

A police officer said there was no evidence of any such affair. “Interrogation of the accused revealed that they held a grudge against Sourav. Recently, Shyamal Karmakar (the prime accused in the murder) and his associates had thrashed two residents of Kulberia. A section of local residents caught Shyamal the next day and assaulted him. Sourav was among them.”

Mallick too appeared to do a U-turn. “The affair theory is now gone. Police are investigating the case and they will find the reason behind the murder,” he said.