Loitam death: ‘2 clear fresh wounds on face’

A pathology report and final autopsy report are awaited to determine the cause of death of 19-year-old Manipur student Richard Loitam

Written by Johnson T A | Bangalore | Published:May 4, 2012 3:33 am

A pathology report and final autopsy report are awaited to determine the cause of death of 19-year-old Manipur student Richard Loitam,who was found dead in his hostel room in the outskirts of the city on April 18. A toxicology study at the Forensic Science Laboratory in Bangalore has shown no traces of poisoning or substance usage,sources said.

Although the police have lodged a murder case,they have desisted from arresting the two hostel mates of Loitam,who were involved in a fight with him the night before he died. This is on the advice of forensic doctors who have opined unofficially that wounds from the fight could not have caused the death.

Police have veered to the theory that a more serious knock to the head may have caused the death and focused on a two-wheeler accident involving him on April 15.

According to an independent forensic expert who has been consulted by investigators with pictures of the Loitam’s body,“There are two clear fresh wounds on the face of the victim. One is a cut on the forehead that seems to be the result of hitting a hard surface with force and the other is on the mouth that seems the result of a punch.”

“The older wounds are just abrasions on the hands and knees. The cut on the forehead is also a result of the fight and it would have been interesting to study this wound and its co-relation with the place where the fight occurred in the hostel. Sadly,no crime scene experts were called when the body was discovered and we only have impressions from photographs taken after the body began to decompose,’’ sources said.

The post-mortem itself was done on April 20 after the body began to bloat leaving scope for wrong interpretations,the sources said.

Forensic doctors opined that the cut to the forehead is not severe enough to cause a hemorrhage. “The injuries from the altercation at the hostel are minor in nature. They could not have caused hemorrhage,” said D Prakash,SP,Bangalore rural.

The police have produced the damaged helmet Loitam wore when he met with the accident to suggest the fall was severe.

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