New Delhi: After being turned away by AIIMS, a team of Madhya Pradesh Police Wednesday submitted the viscera samples of TV journalist Akshay Singh, who died under mysterious circumstances while covering Vyapam scam, to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Rohini to test for any possible poisoning.
A top official from FSL said the laboratory has received the viscera samples of Singh for conducting toxicological analysis after obtaining permission from Delhi government's Home department.
"We usually take samples on special requests by concerned state government or if being sent by court. Here as AIIMS had referred it to us, we had to seek permission from Delhi government as the incident did not happen in our jurisdiction," said the official.
Yesterday, a police team from Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh had come with the scribe's viscera samples and handed them over to AIIMS forensic department. But today, the AIIMS returned the Viscera samples while keeping the tissues.
The AIIMS said it does not have required facilities or mandate to conduct toxicological analysis of viscera samples. The toxicological analysis is carried out to determine possible trace of poisoning and its source.
However, the AIIMS has agreed to conduct the medical and histopathological test which involves microscopic examination of tissues to study manifestations of disease. The report in this regard is likely to be submitted within a month.
According to sources, Abid Khan, Jhabua district Superintendent of Police had faxed a letter of request to carry out the toxicological tests to the Director of FSL, Dr R K Sarin.
Meanwhile, a three-member AIIMS board comprising Additional Professor Dr Adarsh Kumar, Professor Dr Millo Tabin and Senior Resident Doctor Shashank Pooniya, all from the Forensic department of AIIMS, have started conducting the histopathological test.
"There were two sets of viscera samples. One set (tissues) we have accepted and have started doing histopathological examination of tissues. While the other set of viscera samples have been sent to FSL-Delhi for toxicological analysis," AIIMS Forensic Head Dr Sudhir Gupta said.
A senior doctor said AIIMS does not have the mandate and facilities required to conduct toxicological analysis of viscera samples. He said even in Sunanda Pushkar's case, her viscera samples were sent to CFSL last year.
"Here at AIIMS Forensic lab we will perform post mortem and histopathological test," said a senior doctor at AIIMS.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had also spoken to Union Health Minister J P Nadda urging him that viscera samples be tested at AIIMS.
As per post-mortem report, no internal or external injuries were found on Singh's body. He had an enlarged heart and weight of the heart was more than normal and lungs were congested, the report stated.
However, doctors who conducted the autopsy had "reserved" their opinion on the cause of death, following which the samples were brought to Delhi.
Singh, who was working with a Delhi-based TV network, was suddenly taken ill and died last Saturday after having interviewed parents of a girl Namrata Damor, who had been found dead near railway tracks after her name figured in the Vyapam scam.
The demand for sending the viscera outside the state was made by Singh's sister in a letter to Chouhan. The TV network, for which Singh worked, had also urged Madhya Pradesh government to send his viscera sample to a forensic laboratory outside the state, preferably AIIMS at Delhi, for a transparent examination.
A large number of accused and witnesses in the scam - a massive admission and recruitment racket involving several middlemen, medical college owners, bureaucrats and politicians - have died so far under mysterious circumstances.
Bowing to public outcry, Chouhan said he will request the High Court to order a CBI probe into the Vyapam case, including the large number of deaths of people allegedly linked to the scam.