Report says insecticide caused death, cops blame slimming pills

Ruchika Case

Almost 16 years after teenager Ruchika Girhotra committed suicide, allegedly by popping 'slimming pills', mystery still shrouds the exact cause of her death.

While the chemical examination of her viscera and the postmortem report says some 'chloro compound of insecticide' was found in her body, which led to her death, the inquest report prepared by the Panchkula police claims she consumed slimming pills.

Newsline managed to trace the doctor, who conducted the postmortem on Ruchika Girhotra's body and gave the cause of death as a "chloro compound group of insecticide was detected in Ruchika's stomach, liver, spleen, kidney, small intestine and blood".

Dr Subhash Sharma, a laproscopic surgeon, who was posted at General Hospital, Sector 16, in 1993 conducted Ruchika's postmortem at the hospital.

"Yes, I conducted her postmortem, as the body was referred to GH-16 by PGI. I referred the case for chemical examination after which the body was handed over to the family. On receiving the chemical examiner's report, I gave the cause of death, which was due to insecticide."

Ruchika was declared dead at PGI on December 29 at 10.30 pm. As the doctors at PGI refused to conduct the postmortem, the body was referred to General Hospital, Sector 16 (now Government Multi Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, Chandigarh) on December 30.

Her postmortem examination was conducted at 3.30 pm on December 30, by Dr Sharma.

While the matter was referred for chemical examination the same day, the report came on February 21, 1994 and on the same day, Dr Sharma cited the presence of 'chloro-compound of insecticide' in Ruchika's body as the cause of her death.

The inquest report, on the other hand, prepared by the Panchkula police is silent on any insecticide leading to her death.

Ruchika's father S C Girhotra and Anand Prakash have alleged that former Director General of Police S P S Rathore got the inquest report fabricated. The inquest report in police records mention that Ruchika had taken slimming pills and the last meal before her death comprised of simple vegetarian food (daal and roti). The inquest report further mentions that Ruchika had her last dinner at home on the night of December 28, and she was spotted frothing at the mouth next morning. Girhotra, in his complaint against Rathore, has mentioned that the postmortem at GH-16 was carried out in a frivolous manner at Rathore's behest. Dr Sharma, however, denied having been approached by Rathore at the time of postmortem.

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