The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Father sniffs death plot
- ‘Dasham friends must come clean’

Ranchi/Giridih, Dec. 10: The government has described BIT-Mesra student Abhishek Mishra’s death at Dasham Falls as an accident, but his father suspects foulplay and has questioned the role of the youth’s friends who were with him at the time of the mishap.

Subhash Chandra Mishra, director of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi, said the three friends should come forward and disclose exactly what happened.

“If they were good friends, they should come forward and narrate the incident to me. Why are they staying away' This leads to suspicion. I have, therefore, demanded an independent inquiry by a central agency like the CBI,” said Mishra before leaving for New Delhi this evening by train.

Abhishek, a 24-year-old student of computer science, drowned in the waterfall on Friday during a picnic. The group included Ragini, daughter of railway minister Lalu Prasad, Bharat Anand, a relative of former Jharkhand mines minister Ravindra Rai, and Vishal Pandey.

Mishra claimed that Anand and Pandey had visited chief minister Madhu Koda on the day of the tragedy before “disappearing”. “Why weren’t they detained by the police,” he asked.

The father also wondered why police were eager to declare that the death had been accidental. “The police have submitted the post-mortem report without the viscera examination. I know there is no facility in the state, but they should have sent the viscera to forensic laboratories outside Jharkhand,” Mishra said.

Police today seized the laptop of Abhishek, which he had taken with him to Dasham. After the mishap, the laptop, along with two mobile phones, were with Ragini who later passed them on to another student, Anwar. Mishra said the move strengthened his belief that there would be no probe.

“The police should have seized all belongings, why seize only a laptop which can have vital clues' That too without an FIR,” he said, before taking away all his son’s belongings with him to Delhi.

Mishra accepted that his son and Ragini were “very good friends” for almost three years. “Ragini used to phone me quite often. They were very good friends,” he said. It was Ragini who informed Mishra of his son’s death on Friday afternoon. Sources said Mishra spoke to Vishal, the son of a businessman in Hazaribagh, last night.

Bharat, the only son of Giridih public prosecutor Virendra Rai, told The Telegraph that he had spoken to Mishra this afternoon. “He (Mishra) has no doubt about us but he just wanted to know that if someone else was with us. But there was no one. It was an accident,” Bharat said.

The picnic was Abhishek’s idea, Bharat said. “We did not want to go to Dasham but Ragini said she wanted to go to a secluded place as she did not want to be identified,” he said.

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