Updated Saturday, June 3, 2006




3 persons surrender
Rahul critical, aide dead

NEW DELHI, June 2: The three persons, who were with slain BJP leader Pramod Mahajan’s son Rahul and his secretary Vivek Moitra at a party here last night, gave themselves up to the police here late tonight.

The trio in their twenties identified as Rahul, Tishay and Karan, accompanied by their lawyers, including one Viraj Datar, surrendered at the Mandir Marg police station in central Delhi at around 2230 hours.

Another person, who replaced one of the trio and brought a packet along with the two, remained untraced.

The police interrogation of the three persons was on till late into the night.

The fourth person, who is yet to be traced, was identified as Sahil, a resident of Mumbai, who had contact with Moitra, police sources said.

Sahil, they said, had accompanied Rahul, Tishay and Karan to Mahajan’s residence.

Rahul Mahajan and Vivek Moitra appeared to have snuffed cocaine given by the trio till they collapsed last night, a TV channel reported tonight.

The channel said three men in their 20s, one of whom was known to Moitra, went to Mahajan's house at around 11.30 pm. Fifteen minutes later Moitra took one of them to a room who later came out saying "they have gone mad, they want the stuff."

The three, according to the channel, claimed they were not suppliers or users of the drug and agreed to fetch it. On the way one of them pulled out and another friend joined. The three went to posh south Delhi area of Vasant Vihar and bought a packet of stuff for Rs 15,000 from a dealer.

Once back at Mahajan's residence, Rahul rolled out a Rs 500 note and snorted the stuff believed to be cocaine. Moitra also used it. After sometime he was frothing in the mouth while Rahul appeared to be in deep slumber, the channel quoting the trio said.

It was then the trio woke up the drivers and others at the residence and put Rahul and Moitra in two different cars and sent them to hospital.

While the condition of Rahul, who is in ICU on ventilator, is serious but stable, Moitra, a long-time aide of the late leader, was declared "brought dead" by the hospital authorities. Moitra was unmarried.

The incident comes exactly a month after the death of Pramod Mahajan, who was shot by his brother Praveen in Mumbai on April 22. Rahul’s mother Rekha and sister Poonam flew into the capital and straight went to the hospital.

Doctors said Rahul was admitted in an unconscious state with his blood pressure, respiratory rate and oxygen level low.

His vital parameters are functioning normally and he would be kept under observation for 72 hours, a hospital spokesman said.

"We cannot say now (whether) it was poison or some thing else. Reports in this regard are awaited by tomorrow morning," Dr Umesh Gupta told reporters. Medical investigation, including toxic sreening, were on to find out the cause of his ailment, he said.

Police said they were handed over a small polythene bag containing some white powder by the doctors, which they had got from the Mahajan household staff, who brought the duo to hospital. The powder was sent for chemical examination at the Central Forensic Science Laboratory.

Additional Deputy Commisisoner of Police, Manish Aggarwal told reporters that the probe was focussed on identifying the three persons present with Mahajan during the late night party at the 7, Safdarjung road residence.

Aggarwal said three servants — Ganesh, Anil, Shankar —at the Mahajan residence were being interrogated.

He said the scene of the incident was "disturbed" by the servants who had cleared the champagne bottles and glasses and cleaned the floor of the vomit of Mahajan and Moitra.

"The scene of the incident at Mahajan’s 7, Safdarjung residence was disturbed as the household staff had kept the champagne bottles and glasses in a fridge and cleaned up the vomit of Mahajan and Moitra from the floor of the house,"Aggarwal said.

He said the household staff, identified as Ganesh and Anil, had found Rahul and Vivek lying unconscious in the wee hours and rushed them to Apollo hospital.

Asked whether police suspected any foul play, he said "it was too early to comment. We are inquiring into the cause of death. All angles are being probed. It could be a case of natural or accidental toxication, but it is too early to say."(Agencies)






Source: Daily Excelsior. Read the news story at the original site.