New Delhi, Dec 26 (PTI): A fresh controversy today arose over the cause of death of Constable Subhash Tomar during violent demonstrations last Sunday with a government hospital and eyewitnesses contradicting police version that he sustained injuries in the attack by protesters.
Even as the report of the post-mortem done on the 47-year-old Constable, who succumbed to injuries yesterday allegedly sustained during Sunday violence, was not out different versions emerged.
Dr T S Sidhu, Medical Superintendent of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital where Tomar was brought for treatment, said, "he came in a state of total collapse and our doctors revived him and as he was not stable, we shifted him to the Intensive Care Unit. He was on ventilator."
The doctor said there was no "major external injury marks except for some cuts and bruises".
Asked whether it was a case of cardiac arrest, the doctor said, "I don't know. That is not my comment. He came, he was in serious shock and we revived him. In all our records, there are no severe internal injuries recorded but the post-mortem will tell everything."
A journalism student Yogendra, who claimed to be an eye- witness, contradicted police version that Constable Tomar was beaten up by protesters leading to his death, saying he fell down on his own.
Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said doctors who have conducted the post-mortem told them that he had suffered internal injuries.
"Doctors who conducted the post mortem of Tomar had told us that there were injuries in stomach, chest and neck and post-mortem report will only tell the cause of death.
"If we give any comment before we read the report, it will be premature. Therefore, we request you not to make it an issue. We haven't declare the cause of death so far," he said.
After questions were raised, Delhi Police assigned its Crime Branch to investigate the case in which murder charges have been invoked.
Though Bhagat did not provide reasons for transferring the case from New Delhi district police to the Crime Branch, sources claimed that the decision was taken as New Delhi district police would be busy in the coming days with regard to preparations for the Republic Day parade.
Yesterday, Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar had said that Tomar had suffered internal injuries in his neck, chest and stomach and they were waiting for the post-mortem report to ascertain the exact cause of his death.
The journalism student claimed, "I was at India Gate with a female friend who was injured. I saw one policeman who was running after protesters and then suddenly collapsing. We rushed towards him and some policemen were also there. Suddenly, policemen started running after other protesters.
"So I rushed to a nearby PCR van. They took him to hospital. I also went in the same vehicle. I saw him in hospital and his body didn't have any injuries. He wasn't trampled by a mob, he wasn't assaulted. The claims of police are false. I am surprised to hear that 8 were arrested over Subhash Tomar's death," Yogendra claimed.
Joint Commissioner Tejinder Luthra said there were contradictions in the claims made by Yogendra.
"He said an ambulance did rush an injured girl who was part of the protesters to hospital but there were no ambulances to take the Constable. We arranged ambulance and we did it for a protester and did not do for a policeman. This remark itself expose the contradiction," he said.
Police have slapped murder charges in the case. Earlier, eight persons, including an activist of Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) were arrested on Monday on charges of attempt to murder.
Following the claims of the eye-witness, AAP demanded sacking of Commissioner Kumar alleging that police was misleading people by arresting eight "innocent youth" in connection with the incident.
Kejriwal said Yogendra's account was opposite of what police said. "Is police lying?" he asked.
AAP chief Spokesperson Manish Sisodia alleged police was "politicising" Tomar's death to cover their mistakes and demanded that Kumar be sacked.
"Delhi Police should have dealt with the matter with sensitivity and honoured the constable's death. But, the police have politicised the death to cover their own mistakes. We feel that the Delhi Police are involved in a conspiracy. The police commissioner should be sacked," he said.
Tomar's family refuted the claims of an eye-witness, saying he died after suffering injuries caused in the chaos.
"My father died because of the chaos during the protests at India Gate. Protesters pushed him, they trampled upon him. He had internal injuries. The claims that he did not receive injuries are false," Tomar's son Aditya said.
Tomar's family claimed that the policeman did not have a history of heart problems. "Tomar was attacked by protesters. He did not suffer from any heart-related problems," Tomar's relative Naveen Chaudhary said.
Blaming the protesters for Tomar's death, his son Deepak had yesterday alleged that protesters brutally beat up his father. "The public is responsible for this because they beat him up so badly. Can they return my father?" he said.
Meanwhile, the Home Ministry has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin of Tomar.