The death of IIT Kharagpur student Faizan Ahmed last October appears to be a case of “homicide”, forensic medicine specialist Ajay Gupta has told Calcutta High Court.
Gupta had conducted a second post-mortem after the student’s remains were exhumed. Faizan’s body had been found in a room of the Lala Lajpat Roy hall of residence on the IIT campus in October 2022.
On Tuesday, the new post-mortem report was tabled before Justice Rajasekhar Mantha.
Justice Mantha said: “Since the first post-mortem report avoided mentioning there were marks of injuries on the skull of Faizan, this has triggered doubts.... It seems that the institute authorities had influenced the first post-mortem report.”
The first post-mortem was conducted at Midnapore Medical College and Hospital.
The judge said the court was of the view that “Section 302 of the IPC (punishment for murder) may be added while probing the death”.
“The investigating officer, if need be, can add new sections. Time has come to identify the accused,” Justice Mantha said during the hearing.
Justice Mantha added: “The court might constitute a special investigation team (SIT) with retired police officers of the state to probe the death after the hearing next week.”
Aniruddha Mitra, one of the lawyers representing Faizan’s family, said they had been demanding such a probe team “from the very beginning”. Ranjit Chatterjee, another lawyer representing Faizan’s family, was also present in court.
The formal written order of the court had not been uploaded till late Tuesday evening.
Faizan’s mother Rehana, who was present in court, told this newspaper: “The second post-mortem report has vindicated our suspicions. The IIT Kharagpur authorities wanted us to believe that my son had committed suicide because he could not secure an internship offer. Police have been inept in carrying out a probe, following which we had to approach the court to find out what caused the death.”
A team of forensic medicine experts led by Gupta conducted the second autopsy on May 27 at the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital.
Gupta, who was engaged by Calcutta High Court to carry out the second post-mortem, told this newspaper on Tuesday evening: “The report, considering the injuries, suggests that it is most likely to be a case of homicide.”
Rajib Kumar Paul, the officer in charge of Kharagpur Town police station, declined comment.
Students at IIT Kharagpur pay tribute to Faizan Ahmed at the Lala Lajpat Roy hall of residence during Diwali in 2022. Sourced by The Telegraph
The court has said that the second post-mortem report should be handed over to the investigating officer but not to the IIT at this stage, lawyers connected to the case said.
In November, Faizan’s family members had moved a writ petition alleging that the third-year mechanical engineering student had been murdered by senior students because he had declined to take part in ragging, conducted in the garb of an “assimilation programme”.
A report that IIT Kharagpur director V.K. Tewari had submitted to the high court in January said Faizan was suffering from mental health issues arising from factors such as rejection in internship interviews.
Calls and text messages to Tewari on Tuesday evening did not elicit any response.