New Delhi: A 27-year-old protestor who died Tuesday at the farmers’ tractor rally on Republic Day near ITO was not shot but sustained a “traumatic injury above left side of his skull from where his brain started oozing out”, leading to his death, the post-mortem report has revealed.
The report, which a police source read out to ThePrint, does not mention any bullet injury or any exit wound that would indicate the farmer was shot. An X-ray too did not show any bullet inside the body.
According to the report, Navneet Singh, a resident of Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur, sustained a total of six injuries, including lacerated wounds to his right eyebrow and chin, a contusion on his right nipple, abrasions on his left leg and knee joint and injuries on his skull.
Lacerated wounds are caused when a person either has an accident or is beaten up by a “blunt object”. Contusions are black and blue bruises that are sustained if a person is hit forcefully. Abrasions are caused when a person is dragged against a hard surface.
The lacerated wound and traumatic injury above the left side of his skull is what led to his death, the report concluded.
“The cause of death is shock and haemorrhage, as a result of anti-mortem head injuries,” it further stated.
“The doctors have opined that it was the head injury that caused Singh’s death. It is possible that when the tractor overturned, his head was crushed. Other injuries were also due to him falling under his own truck,” a senior UP Police officer told ThePrint.
The post-mortem, police said, was conducted by a panel of doctors and was also videographed.
Singh was part of the farmer rally and died after his tractor collided with a police barricade and overturned at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg in Delhi. While some farmers at the spot claimed that he was shot at, others said that a tear gas shell hit his head, following which he lost balance and hit the barricade. The police, however, claimed that Singh was over-speeding and died in an accident when his tractor turned turtle and he came under it.
‘Police exercised maximum restraint’
Avinash Chandra, additional director general of police, Bareilly, Rampur, told ThePrint that the postmortem report makes it clear that Singh died of “antemortem injuries and was not shot”.
The Delhi Police also claimed that no excessive force was used at protesters to ensure no loss of life.
“We exercised maximum restraint to ensure that there was no loss of life. In this case too, Singh died because he lost his own balance, hit the barricade and when his truck overturned, it fell on him, leading to grievous injuries,” a senior Delhi Police officer told ThePrint.
“Had he been shot at or a tear gas hit him, that would have come in the PM report. It is now clear that he died in an accident,” he added.
According to news reports, Singh, who was recently married, had returned to his UP hometown from Australia to celebrate his wedding.
Singh had died at the spot. His body was covered with the tricolour by protestors, who did not let the police take his body for a postmortem. It was later conducted at his home town in UP.
Video of accident
A video that went viral, and was also shared with reporters by the police, shows Singh’s blue tractor, moving with speed, hit barricades and overturned. Policemen can be standing nearby.
“The tractor is at high speed. It rams into the barricades, breaking them and overturns. In fact policemen who are standing on duty run to see if the driver is safe. The police did not resort to any firing as being claimed by the protestors, which is very clear in this video,” the officer said. “Moreover, no tear gas was also lobbed here at this time,” he added.
(This report has been updated with details from the post-mortem report)