The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Drug or poison' Answer in 5 days

New Delhi, June 2: As forensic scientists got busy with blood and tissue samples from Bibek Moitra’s body, Delhi police are for now assuming Pramod Mahajan’s private secretary died of drug abuse rather than poison.

In his preliminary report to the home ministry, police commissioner K.K. Paul suggests Bibek had taken an overdose of cocaine at an all boys’ party last night at the late BJP MP’s official residence, 7 Safdarjung Road. Pramod’s son Rahul, who also was at the binge, is fighting for his life in hospital.

The police have reportedly picked up two persons for questioning, and a friend and former private secretary of Pramod is believed to be helping with the investigations.

A definite answer to what caused Bibek’s death will, however, be known only after the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) hands in a viscera test report, which is expected on Tuesday.

The lab’s scientists will consider whether Bibek took too much cocaine or whether he had been given something else ' perhaps poison ' that reacted with the alcohol he drank that night.

A team of eight from the laboratory took pictures and video clips of the scene, and collected empty bottles and some clothes that lay in the room with vomit on them. The vomit will be analysed.

The scientists also collected fingerprints and footprints, which sources said might help solve one of the biggest mysteries in the case: the identity of the three strangers who visited the house last night during the party. (The three later surrendered tonight.)

The police complained that the scene had been “disturbed”. The servants had

removed some champagne bottles and glasses; and the vomit of Bibek and Rahul had been wiped off the floor. The

servants had also removed some “white powder” and taken it to the hospital to show to the doctors.

Sources said this could have been done at the instance of Pramod’s friend Sudhanshu Mittal, who had helped shift Bibek and Rahul to hospital. He may have asked the servants to bring along whatever they had found so that the doctors could choose their line of treatment.

Samples of the white powder have been sent to the forensic laboratory along with blood collected from Bibek’s body, which has been shifted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences for an autopsy.

Though the central laboratory falls under the CBI’s authority, the agency is not involved in the investigation.

Police officers were recording the statements of all the three servants this evening.

The police are collecting the records of calls made within a 3-km radius of the house between 10.30 last night and 1.30 this morning to pinpoint a specific phone number. Bibek’s cell phone had received several calls from a private number, which did not register in the mobiles’ record of incoming calls.

The police believe these calls were made by the three people who later visited Mahajan’s house.

The police were trying to find out who the visitors were, where they came from, and why they went out, returned and left again even when they knew that Bibek and Rahul had suddenly fallen ill.

Some of these questions were partly answered when the three surrendered. But many grey areas still remain.

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