Unravelling the Namrata Damor ‘Murder’ Case: Vyapam Scam

The Quint’s Investigation: Chandan Nandy gets the lowdown on Namrata Damor’s “murder” case from the spot.

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Namrata Damor with one Dr Vishal Sharma. 
Unravelling the Namrata Damor ‘Murder’ Case: Vyapam Scam

The Curious Case of Namrata Domor’s Murder

  • Police did not bother to collect the autopsy report even 20 days after the post-mortem, leading to speculation that this was to give the assailants time to escape.
  • Some injuries on the body were ante-mortem (before death), suggesting that her assailant applied force when killing her.
  • There were no internal injuries, skull was not damaged; jumping off the train would have led to a fractured skull and ribs.
  • Police did not bring-in the three youths - Vishal Verma, Yash Dhesiwal and Dev Sisodia - for forensic examination.

Not only did the Madhya Pradesh police not investigate the homicide angle of Indore resident Namrata Damor’s death, it had shown no urgency to collect her autopsy report 20 days after a post-mortem was conducted on her body at the Ujjain District Hospital in January 2012.

19-year-old Namrata, who was found to have adopted unfair means to get admission to the Gwalior Medical College from where she later took a transfer to MGM Medical College in Indore, was among thousands of students said to have paid hefty bribes to a Madhya Pradesh education mafia kingpin Dr Jagdish Sagar, who ran an extensive racket in collusion with the Vyavasayik Pariksha Mandal (Vyapam) to rake in crores.

Sagar, who is suspected to be behind the death of Namrata, is now in jail. The case of Namrata’s death, which the police had passed off as suicide even though the autopsy performed by a team of three Ujjain doctors had concluded that their “findings (were) suggestive of homicidal manner”, may now be reopened following disclosures by one of the doctors that she had “died of (sic) due to “violent asphyxia.”

The autopsy findings point to an inescapable fact: Namrata was murdered by one or more persons on the evening of January 7, over three years ago. This calls into question not just the police’s role in projecting a homicide as suicide, but also the state BJP leadership’s insistence that none of the 48 deaths related to the Vyapam scam were suspicious.

Crime scene photo showing Namrata’s body next to the tracks.
Crime scene photo showing Namrata’s body next to the tracks.

Dr B B Purohit, who led the team of forensics doctors that conducted the autopsy on Namrata’s body on January 9, 2012, spoke to The Quint on July 10.

What struck me as extremely suspicious was that the police did not bother to collect the post-mortem report after almost 20 days had passed.
– Dr. B B Purohit

This led Dr Purohit to question the police’s seriousness in pursuing the case and whether the “intentional delay” in picking up the autopsy report was to “give sufficient time to the assailant(s).”

Dr B B Purohit, who led the team of forensics doctors that conducted the autopsy on Namrata’s body on January 9, 2012. 
Dr B B Purohit, who led the team of forensics doctors that conducted the autopsy on Namrata’s body on January 9, 2012. 

Nobody reached the hospital to claim Namrata’s body for a week, following which it was buried.

The linchpin of the autopsy report is a crucial fact which has not been raised so far - some of the injuries on Namrata’s body were ante-mortem (before death) in nature, suggesting that her assailant applied force when killing her.

There are several injuries which are ante-mortem in nature, while there are also post-mortem injuries which are essentially graze abrasions which was because her body was dragged a certain distance.
– Dr BB Purohit

Namrata’s body was found by the rail tracks near Maski station, some 18-20 kms from Ujjain. The ante-mortem injuries were primarily nail marks (“crescentic abrasions”) on her cheeks, nose, lips and chin, suggesting that she was smothered and perhaps even strangled, Dr Purohit explained. He emphasised that her nasal bone was broken and there were contusions on her gums. “There was forceful application on her mouth and throat,” he said.

Crime scene photos available with The Quint show a small pool of blood under Namrata’s head, which would have oozed out after injuries were inflicted post-mortem. “There were no internal injuries on her body. Her skull was not damaged. Jumping off the train would have led to fracture of the skull and ribs,” Dr Purohit said.

Unravelling the Namrata Damor ‘Murder’ Case: Vyapam Scam

This nails the police’s claim that a depressed Namrata killed herself by jumping off the train (Indore-Jabalpur Express) which she took on January 7, 2012.

The head of the forensics unit at the Ujjain District Hospital disclosed that not only was Namrata’s “hymen absent”, her vagina had a “one-finger dilation” which indicates “capaciousness of the vagina.”

“An examination of her genitals revealed the presence of a whitish yellow fluid in her vaginal passage, but it could not be said with certainty whether it was an internal excretion or semen,” Dr Purohit said, adding that some stains, “possibly of semen were found on her clothing and undergarment.”

Dr Purohit regrets that the police did not bother to bring in the three youths - Vishal Verma, who knew Namrata very well, and Yash Dhesiwal and Dev Sisodia who were said to have made several phone calls to the girl before her death - for forensic examination.

“It would have certainly helped me draw inference of their involvement, if any,” Dr Purohit said. The surfacing of a fourth man, a certain Dr Vishal Sharma, who was extremely close to Namrata and appears in photographs with her, has not been investigated. Does he know what the police perhaps does not?

When the police examined Shraddha Kesharwani, a co-passenger on the same train Namrata took and occupied seat number 37, she is said to have claimed that no other person accompanied Namrata and that she detrained at Ujjain. So how is it that her body was found about 18-20 kms away from Ujjain? Where did Namrata go in Ujjain? Whom did she meet there? Who purchased the ticket on January 6, 2012? What necessitated her killing? Was she privy to details of the scam which led to her elimination?

These are vital questions that need to be probed by the CBI whose officers in Madhya Pradesh are said to have collected a large volume of documents related to Namrata’s death from the Ujjain police on July 10.

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