Ashish Dahiya, a 2016-batch IAS officer, died as a result of drowning, the official autopsy report received by the Delhi Police on Wednesday states. The report also states that there was “no external injury” on his body. The report has been prepared by the AIIMS medical board led by a panel of three doctors. Sources said the report states that “there was no external injury on the body” and that the death was “due to asphyxia as a result of ante-mortem drowning”.
Dahiya, who came 53rd in UPSC’s all-India ranking, had drowned in a swimming pool late Monday night. Police had said he was partying with his friends at the pool, located inside the Foreign Service Institute in south Delhi’s Vasant Vihar. Police said Dahiya’s batchmates, including IAS, IRS and IFS officers, were having a get-together after a convocation ceremony at South Block. Dahiya was set to be posted in Srinagar soon. Police had on Tuesday ruled out foul play in his death.
By Wednesday, police had recorded the statements of 15 officers who were present at the party. Police said that a few more officers have been called on Thursday to record their statements. Sources said Dahiya had received several calls inviting him to the party. Dahiya’s family has claimed he was a prolific swimmer and couldn’t have drowned. His uncle said he was supposed to meet Dahiya to see a house, but the IAS officer cancelled at the last minute because he had “received 24 calls inviting him to the party”.
Police said the swimming pool is surrounded by hostel rooms and is about six to eight feet deep. Sources said that around midnight, about 10 people who were left at the party decided to enter the pool. According to police, two versions emerged after speaking to eyewitnesses: One, that Dahiya and a woman appeared to be drowning and others jumped in to rescue them; and two, that Dahiya jumped into the pool to rescue the woman.