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Death of Arjun Chourasia by 'hanging', indicates autopsy report

The post-mortem examination was conducted as per an order of the Calcutta High Court passed on Friday
Representational image.
Representational image.

Our Bureau, PTI   |   Calcutta   |   Published 10.05.22, 12:53 PM

The autopsy report of BJYM activist Arjun Chourasia, conducted by Command Hospital here and submitted to Calcutta High Court on Tuesday, indicated that his death was by hanging and the ligature mark on his neck was ante-mortem in nature.

The Union of India, represented by Assistant Solicitor General Billadwal Bhattacharyya, submitted the post-mortem report in a sealed cover before a division bench presided by Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava.

The autopsy was conducted by a team of experts constituted by the head of Command Hospital, a defence healthcare establishment, as per an order of the court passed on Friday.

The bench, also comprising Justice R Bharadwaj, noted in its order that the findings relating to the cause of death of Chourasia is "hanging" and the ligature mark on his neck is "ante-mortem".

The post-mortem report was handed over by the court to Advocate General S N Mookherjee representing the West Bengal government.

It directed that the viscera sample be handed over to police authority concerned.

Crying foul following the discovery of Chourasia's body in an abandoned railway quarter at Kashipur in north Calcutta on May 6, his family members had moved the high court seeking that the autopsy be conducted at Command Hospital.

On a prayer by the lawyer representing the family members of Chourasia that a copy of the autopsy report be handed over to them, the bench directed that they can make an application to the state for the purpose and that it be considered by the authorities as per law.

Their lawyer Priyanka Tibrewal submitted that the family does not have faith in the investigation being conducted by the Calcutta Police, which has already formed a special investigation team to probe Chourasia's death.

Claiming that Chourasia was one of many BJP workers who had to leave their homes during post-poll violence and had recently returned to his residence, Tibrewal also prayed before the court that the case be handed over to the CBI in accordance with its earlier order that directed probe by the central agency in cases of murders, rapes and attempts to rape that took place after the 2021 West Bengal assembly elections.

AG submitted that the police has formed an SIT to investigate the matter, treating it as a case of unnatural death.

The bench directed that the matter will be taken up for hearing again on May 19.

Arjun Chourasia was found hanging from an abandoned railway quarter at Kashipur on May 6, leading to angry protests by BJP workers and subsequent visit to the place by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who was then on a two-day tour of West Bengal.

The bench had on May 6 directed the Chief Judicial Magistrate of South 24 Parganas district to be present during the post-mortem examination, which the court noted was complied with.

Apprehension had been expressed by Tibrewal that there is every possibility that the post-mortem examination may not be done in proper manner and attempt may be made to destroy evidence.

Drawing the attention of the bench to an earlier order of the same court that directed a second autopsy of Abhijit Sarkar, a BJP-affiliated trade union leader, by a team of doctors constituted by the head of the Command Hospital, Calcutta, a similar direction had been sought for the post-mortem examination of Chourasia.

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