New Delhi: Delhi Police constable Subhash Tomar's death has led to a barrage of claims and counter-claims from the police and the protesters with both the sides sticking to their stands on what caused the policeman to collapse during Sunday's clash at India Gate during the anti-gangrape agitation and his subsequent death in Delhi's Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital on Tuesday.
The Delhi police are collecting footage from news channels and are specifically looking for shots which show what happened to the constable just before he collapsed. After Yogendra and Pauline, the two protesters who tried to help Tomar after he collapsed, claimed that the policeman had no visible injury marks on his body when they saw him, a third witness has come out claiming that the constable was beaten up by a few protesters.
"After the lathicharge, some people threw stones at him and he fell. He was beaten up by about seven or eight men. Some of them were dressed in plain clothes and four-five others wore Aam Admi Party caps. I thought he suffered minor injuries but when he died I felt compelled to come out and talk about it. Yogendra and Pauline came much later so they do not know about the beating," claimed Salim.
Salim, Yogendra and Pauline have been questioned by Delhi Police Crime Branch officers who are investigating the constable's death. Even though the post mortem report of Tomar confirmed that he was hit by a blunt object and was injured during the clashes at the anti-rape protests at India Gate on Sunday, Yogendra stuck to his stand claiming that the constable was not injured. "The truth is that he was not injured at that time. According to the medical officer too, no injuries were found that caused his death," Yogendra told CNN-IBN.
Yogendra even questioned the post mortem report and said, "If you're saying it's an allegation, then let it be. This is not the first time this has happened. Delhi Police called me on Monday at 4 pm to find out what happened. I told them. They didn't ask me anything else," Yogendra said.
When asked about questions being raised over Yogendra belonging to a political group, he said, "I have answered this before. I am not, and have never been, associated with any party or organisation.'
Another eyewitness Pauline had on Wednesday said, "When the incident happened, the crowd was at least 50 to 60 metres away from the spot where Tomar fell down...there were no injuries to constable Tomar, he was all sweating."
Pauline, who is seen in the video footage of the incident along with another protester Yogendra and an unknown policeman, said that they helped constable after he had fallen down on the road, adding "he had fallen unconscious, we tried to revive him". She further said, "No policemen present there tried to help anyone, I was shouting and asking everyone present there to call the ambulance." Pauline also said that constable Tomar would have died on the spot had they not been there to help him.
However, the post mortem report of Tomar contradicted the versions of two eyewitnesses and the Medical Superintendent of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, saying he had suffered serious injuries. According to the report, Tomar had myocardial infraction (cardiac arrest) and its complication that could be precipitated by ante mortem injuries to neck and chest produced by blunt force impact. The report also says that effusion of blood was present in soft tissues and muscles of neck.
The post mortem report further said that there was effusion of blood present in soft tissues and muscles of neck. It said, "Effusion of blood on both sides of the neck which fractures of ribs on left side along with mid Clavipular line cut."
Furnishing the details of the report, the Delhi Police claimed that the cardiac arrest was induced by the injuries caused to the constable as mentioned in the post mortem report. The post mortem report of the deceased is in contradiction with the version of the Medical Superintendent at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, S Sidhu, who had said that there was no major external injury marks were found on the body. He added that Tomar had already suffered a cardiac arrest before he was brought to the hospital.