Our justice system works in strange ways. Politicians get away with murder and the innocent gets convicted of a crime they did not commit. Scores of people die in custody, but the police are not held responsible.
Do you remember how no one killed Jessica Lal although she was shot dead before a number of people? Well, this time it is Tabrez Ansari from Jharkhand.
No one killed Tabrez Ansari.
To be more specific, he was lynched, but not murdered. How convincing does it sound?
The Post Mortem Report
Let us go back to what happened to 24-year-old Ansari. On June 17, 2019, Ansari was attacked by a mob in the Seraikela Kharswan district of Jharkhand on the suspicion of theft. The mob tied him to a pole and assaulted him with sticks and iron rods for hours at night, and forced him to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Jai Hanuman’. The incident was recorded in a video that went viral.
Early in the morning of June 18, Ansari was rescued by police and taken to a hospital. An X-ray of his legs was taken after he complained of pain.
However, a skull fracture that he suffered went ‘unnoticed’ because he did not complain of pain in his head. After treatment at the hospital, Ansari was sent to jail on suspicion of theft. His skull fracture was revealed only after he died and a post mortem report was produced.
“The fracture of bone is grievous injury caused by hard and blunt object. The combined effect of fracture of bone, pale organs and heart chambers full of blood resulting into cardiac arrest,” says the document signed by a team of five signatories, who are members of a special investigation team set up to examine the reasons behind Ansari’s death.
The post mortem report said that the cause of death was cardiac arrest, and on the basis of that, charges on the 11 people accused of murder were dropped and brought down to culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Lynched, Not Murdered?
Even to the layman, the vagueness of the post mortem report is clearer than crystal. A man who was tied to a pole and beaten for hours just died because his heart stopped?
Well, don’t we all die when our hearts stop?
The five undersigned signatories in the post mortem are the Heads of departments of Orthopaedics, Medicine, Surgery, ENT and Pathology. None of them belongs to the Forensics.
How many of us would go to experts from these departments when we need scientific techniques or tests to detect a crime?
While the team of five doctors that produced the post mortem report had a lot to say, The Logical Indian decided to speak to a couple of experienced doctors whose views on Ansari’s death bring some damning arguments to light.
Dr. J. Amalorpavanathan, Retd Prof. and Head of Department of Vascular Surgery, Madras Medical College, tells The Logical Indian, “Cardiac death clearly means that it is ‘death’; we all die of cardiac death when our heart stops. It can, by no means, be referred to as the cause of death. What caused the heart to stop? That is the question. Putting it very simply, Tabrez Ansari was beaten to death.”
The following are a series of tweets by Dr. Amalorpavanathan:
The second certificate issued by MGM Medical college ,on Tabrez Ansari's death is signed by 5 people. Not one of them has any qualifications or expertise in Forensic Science!Curious absence is the Forensic Person in that medical college! 2nd certificates are usually from experts!
— Amalorpavanathan (@amalorj) September 13, 2019
2 experts certified that 22 year Tabrez Ansari died of Cardiac Arrest. Thanks Sirs. You have done great service to the science of Forensic Medicine. I assumed he died of Malaria.
— Amalorpavanathan (@amalorj) September 11, 2019
It doesn't require great genius to realise that everyone ultimately dies when the heart stops. But a responsible forensic report must clearly say what caused a healthy 21 year old person's heart to stop.Saying he died of Cardiac Arrest is superficial and has no meaning.
— Amalorpavanathan (@amalorj) September 11, 2019
Heart stops( Cardiac Arrest)even after beheading dammit, and that cannot be the cause of death. Does one require extra brain to realise this simple truth?
— Amalorpavanathan (@amalorj) September 12, 2019
Echoing his views, Sanjib Mukhopadhyay, ex-president of The Bengal Obstetrics and Gynecological Society says, “What all of us need to understand is that the ‘mode’ of death and ‘cause’ of dying are two very different things. This is what every doctor studies as a part of their MBBS curriculum. It is basic knowledge. The mode of dying for anybody is cardiac arrest, that is, everybody dies because their heart fails to beat.”
“Clearly, cardiac arrest cannot be a cause of death. In the case of Tabrez Ansari, massive injury due to beating, and probably the trauma involved, caused his heart to stop. That is the underlying cause of death. Multiple injuries is the cause of death, and the contributing factor is the beating or assault. Say somebody dies of starvation. In that case, the cause of death is starvation and the mode of dying is obviously cardiac arrest due to starvation. The post mortem report is clearly faulty,” he adds.
Doctors say that the post mortem report is erroneous.
Rather, the entire justice system is erroneous.
A 24-year-old young man, newly married, with his own hopes, aspirations, dreams, was beaten to death. His murderers will probably get away with their crime. What precedent are we setting?
From Jessica Lal to Unnao to Tabrez Ansari, the flaws in our justice system raise but one question – where are we heading as a nation?