Hours after the High Court rapped several institutions, including AIIMS, over the delay in submitting the autopsy report of Arunachal Pradesh student Nido Taniam, forensic doctors from the institute started conducting tests in their own laboratories.
These tests include histopathological and toxicological analysis on samples of every organ preserved from the autopsy. While the samples had been sent to the CFSL in Rohini after the post-mortem examination, an equal proportion of the samples was preserved at AIIMS.
Sources said doctors have conducted tests to check for traces of a tetanus antidote, and other drugs and poisonous substances through toxicological tests. They have also seen slides of Taniam’s viscera samples under advanced microscopes.
“The swelling on Taniam’s brain could not have been caused by the injuries, so it is not significant. We had asked police to bring us samples of possible substances in his room that he could have consumed. So far, we don’t have anything. We were given a history of a tetanus injection shot being taken, so we are testing for that to establish if there was any reaction. We are conducting histopathology tests on body tissues and microbiological tests in our own labs,” a source from AIIMS forensic medicine said.
Doctors said they were also testing for poisonous substances and psychotropic drugs. “The cause of death is still not clear… a thorough examination of his room and environment is necessary…,” the source said.
Doctors confirmed that tests on viscera had confirmed that there was no internal bleeding or injuries. External injuries included minor bruises and cuts on his upper body, doctors said.
Chief of the AIIMS forensic department Dr Sudhir Gupta said he had sent a request to authorities at the institute for constructing an advanced molecular biology and toxicology laboratory on campus with “state-of-the-art facilities” to ensure speedier availability of reports.
“The laboratory should have DNA, HLA toxicological and other tests, that can help us work faster, and ensure speedier reports,” Dr Gupta said.