The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Father’s crusade at justice door
Letter posers on Dasham

Ranchi, Dec. 12: The father of BIT student Abhishek Mishra who died in a waterfall has sought a CBI probe but said he was not blaming railway minister Lalu Prasad’s daughter Ragini, who was part of the picnic.

“I am not blaming anyone, let alone Ragini; she is like my own daughter and wanted to marry Abhishek,” said Subhash Chandra Mishra, father of Abhishek, the computer engineering student who drowned at the Dasham waterfall on Friday.

“But I want an investigation by the CBI because we want to find out who is behind my son’s death,” the distraught father told The Telegraph over the phone from Gurgaon.

Mishra’s suspicion of foul play, voiced over the last few days, was followed up today by a letter he addressed to Jharkhand Chief Justice M. Karpagavinayagam, the Chief Justice of India and the National Human Rights Commission.

Mishra, the chief medical officer at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi, wants a CBI probe to get to the bottom of the incident. Abhishek, his only son, and three other friends, Bharat Anand, Vishal Pandey and Ragini had gone to the waterfall on a picnic.

Mishra cited several factors for suspecting foul play. The manner in which the three surviving friends reached Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda’s residence after the accident and disappeared thereafter, he said, was suspicious.

Second, he has misgivings about the credentials of Bharat, especially following a report that he was involved in an equally bizarre incident in 2002.

He was then still a student of Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, and was driving back from Giridih with a friend on a motorcycle. They stopped to have food and, thereafter, his friend drove away with the motorcycle, leaving Anand behind at the dhaba.

When the friend failed to return after a long time, Bharat claimed to have gone in search of him and found him lying on the road. Last week, too, Mishra said, Bharat claims to have waited for Abhishek, who disappeared. He wondered if this was just a coincidence.

The body of Abhishek, he pointed out, bore several injury marks but the post-mortem did not address them. The autopsy was over within 15 minutes and the doctor informed the media that the death was by drowning.

The body, Mishra said, had remained under water for 22 hours but was not swollen. Besides, there seemed to be little intake of water.

Both Bharat and Vishal, however, have been claiming that it was a tragic accident. They were taken to the chief minister’s residence because they were in a state of shock and because Lalu Prasad had presumably called up the Koda and sought his help.

Neither Lalu Prasad nor any member of his family was available for comment.

The police, however, insisted that the death was caused by drowning. Senior superintendent N.P. Singh said the post-mortem report did not leave any room for doubt.

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