M A I N   N E W S

Rahul Mahajan on life support
Pramod Mahajan’s secretary dies of suspected poisoning
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 2
Pramod Mahajan's son, Rahul (26), was admitted in a serious condition to Apollo Hospital here while the late BJP leader's secretary Bibek Biman Moitra (38) died of suspected poisoning after a mysterious late night party in which “strangers” were believed to have been present.

Exactly a month after Pramod Mahajan's death, Rahul is in a serious but stable condition in the ICU. He is on the life-support system with his vital parameters functioning normally. A team of doctors is monitoring his condition.

Mahajan's long-time private secretary Moitra was brought dead at 3 am to the hospital, a spokesman said. Police sources said they recovered some “white powder” from Rahul’s possession. It had been sent for forensic examination.

The body of Moitra was taken for a postmortem examination to AIIMS and his viscera has been sent for chemical examination to ascertain the cause of death.

Last night, four persons came to the house and there was a small party with champagne. The party lasted a couple of hours and they left subsequently telling the servants that Rahul and Moitra had taken liquor in excess and needed attention. The servants found the two sprawled on the sofa with froth coming out from Moitra's mouth.

The Tughlaq Road police was informed of the incident by the hospital authorities. The police said the servants at Mahajan’s house said they had not seen the strangers before. They were apparently known to Moitra. They returned later, only to leave again once the two were rushed to hospital.

The servants were later picked up by the police and taken for questioning to an undisclosed location. Senior police officers are monitoring the investigation.

Meanwhile, three of the four men who were at the party last night surrendered at the Mandir Marg police station tonight. Earlier, the police had said that only three men were present at the party.

The three — identified as Rahul, Tishay and Karan — all in their 20s — arrived at the police station along with their lawyer late tonight. A fourth person, Sahil, was absconding, the police said.

The lawyer, Viraj Datar, told reporters that the young men were terrified of what had happened, but later decided to approach the police since they had some “facts” pertaining to the case.

Sahil was described as a friend of Moitra while the others had gone to Mahajan’s residence along with him.

Earlier, a team of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) also descended on the house and dusted the place for fingerprints and other evidence. It also collected samples of vomit and blood for chemical examination.

The sample of a white powder, reportedly found in a polythene bag in the house, has also been sent for chemical analysis. While the police refused to say so in certain terms, the sources said the powder in all likelihood was cocaine.

ADCP Manish Aggarwal told reporters that the scene of the incident had been “disturbed” as the household staff had kept the champagne bottles and glasses in a cupboard and cleaned up the vomit of Rahul and Moitra from the floor.

The police said efforts were also being made to trace the calls made by Rahul on his mobile phone.

Shocked BJP leaders, including party President Rajnath Singh, visited the hospital. Rahul's uncle and BJP leader from Maharashtra Gopinath Munde rushed to the Capital on hearing the news.


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