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HC seeks report on trainee death

Gauhati High Court

Guwahati, Aug. 6: Gauhati High Court today sought a status report of a case registered with Margherita police station in Upper Assam’s Tinsukia district in connection with the death of a chartered accountant from Jharkhand who was an employee of Coal India Ltd, Margherita, in April this year.

Anand Kumar Agarwal, 26, hailing from Dumka in Jharkhand, was found dead on April 4 inside his flat on the PSU’s compound in Margherita. The company suspected it to be a suicide but Anand’s family suspected foul play and moved the high court on July 24 seeking a CBI probe.

The family members had also expressed unhappiness with police investigation in Tinsukia. They said they had written a complaint to Assam director-general of police Khagen Sarma on April 9 seeking proper investigation as they suspect it to be a murder case.

The lawyer of the petitioner, Amit Goyal, told The Telegraph here today that the court of Justice Hrishikesh Roy had issued notices to all the respondents and asked Tinsukia district police to file a status report about investigation into the case.

“The court asked that the investigating officer concerned in Margherita police station to submit the status report within six weeks. The court also asked all the respondents to respond to their notices within the same period,” Goyal said.

The writ petition (3720/14) had made the Assam government, Assam police, officer-in-charge of Margherita police station, general manager of Coal India, Margherita, and superintendent of Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Civil Hospital, Tinsukia, respondents.

Anand, son of a small trader Kamlesh Kumar Agarwal, had passed CA exams in October 2013 and had joined Coal India as a management trainee in its finance department. He was posted at the PSU’s Margherita office and was provided a two-bedroom flat as official quarters, which he shared with a colleague. His office had informed the family on April 4 morning that he was found dead inside his room and his roommate found it locked from the inside.

Anand’s cousin Vikash on July 24 said he and Anand’s younger brother Aman had reached Margherita around 3.30pm on April 4 but a post-mortem of the body was already done raising their suspicion.

“In Tinsukia hospital we were asked to sign some papers, but we refused to do so as we suspected foul play. Later, they asked us to take the body and they arranged flight tickets. So, we had written to Assam police on April 9 seeking an investigation,” Vikash said. “The family members asked why the post-mortem was done in their absence though the PSU officials knew that the family members were on their way to Margherita. Besides, while performing last rites, they found a major injury mark on his shoulder. These made the family members suspect murder. Besides, what is surprising is that the post-mortem report does not clearly state the cause of death,” Goyal said.