Nimrita’s mysterious death: What judicial probe discloses?
KARACHI, Feb 23,2022- Judicial inquiry into the death of Nimrita Chandani, a student at Chandka Medical University Larkana, found that Nimrita was not strangled to death but she committed “suicide”.
The incident took place on September 16, 2019, when the body of Nimrita Chandani, a final year BDS student, was found in a room of Bakhtawar Dental College’s girls’ hostel.
Several questions were raised on the incident after which the Sindh government formed a judicial inquiry. District and Sessions Judge Larkana completed the report on November 30, 2019 and sent it to the Home Department but the report was not made public. However, a copy of the report has now been obtained by the BBC.
The report interviewed 45 people, including two female roommates, classmates, university administration, employees, police officers and a medico-legal officer, during the judicial probe.
The inquiry was conducted around two points: What were the circumstances in which Nimrita Chandani’s body was found in Room No. 47 of the hostel and what were the reasons for Nimrita’s death?
The details below may be painful for some readers.
Nimrita’s roommates told the investigating officer that when she returned from college at 2 pm, she saw that the door of Nimrat’s room was locked from the inside. They knocked on the door but there was no response from inside. There was a hole in the door of the room which showed that half of Nimrita’s body was on one bed and half on the other bed, after which she went to the guard and asked him to break down the door.
The other students were also attracted to the noisy booze. The janitor broke down the door and saw that Nimrita was lying unconscious and clour of her body had turned bluish.
The hostel warden told the investigating officer that she was on duty on September 16 from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm. She had seen Nimrata in the corridors, she was in normal and happy mood and she had a mobile in her hand.
According to the Director IT, the university has 100 CCTV cameras, of which 43 are monitored by his office, out of them seven can be zoomed in. They are located in central locations and some cameras are also on the road leading to the college girls’ hostel. However, there is no camera in the entrance and corridor of the hostel.
He says he has observed from moment to moment but on the day of the incident no suspicious person was seen going to the student hostel.
According to the forensic report, the investigating officer visited the site in the presence of the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), University Registrar, Provost and Deputy Provost. The entrance is in the hallway while there are two windows, one in the front wall and one in the back wall which were sealed with lattice.
The room No: 47 is on the first floor of hostel No: three, the entrance of the room is in the corridor while there are two windows, one in the front wall and one in the back wall which were sealed with lattice.
‘I observed that no one could enter the room through the back wall of the hostel without help, some female students were engaged in extracurricular activities on the ground floor, no evidence was found that any one could enter the room from behind, while no evidence of entry through the door was found.
CCTV cameras also found no strangers entering the hostel.
The judicial report includes the report and statement of Dr. Rasheed Ahmed Khan, Associate Professor of Forensic Medicine, Chandka Medical College. At the front of the neck was a mark of lager, which was 22 cm long and 1.5 cm wide, while there was no mark on the back.
Reaching a logical conclusion, the investigating officer wrote, “Dr. Rashid’s testimony shows that the scar on his throat is mostly due to suicide.” So she has been strangled or she has committed suicide by hanging, while it is clear from the mark that she was not strangled and there was no mark around the throat.
“I have come to the conclusion that Nimrita’s death was a suicide. My (findings) are preliminary, they should not affect the proceedings of the court or the proceedings of any institution.”
According to the court report, the mobile phones of Nimrita and her close college friends Mehran Abro and Aleeshan Memon were also forensically examined and the investigating officer also observed the conversation between them.
Aleeshan said in his statement that apart from her, Nimrita had no male friends in the college, she had family problems, her parents wanted to limit her activities to the college, she was closer to Mehran Abro, she was also at their house. She used to go and live there.
According to Aleeshan, in the text message of Nimrita, he did not feel that she was going to end her life. On the day of incident she text him that she was tense due to viva exam. Aalishan asked her to come to the library and viva preparation together.
According to Aleeshan, “she once asked what I would do if a non-Muslim girl wanted to marry me, to which I replied that I would marry if my parents gave me permission.”
Mehran Abro said in his statement that Nimrita used to tell her about her family problems and she was suffering from depression and anxiety.
According to Mehran Abro, Nimrita had told in the early days that her parents in Karachi did not allow her to go out of the house even with her friends, she also complained of neglect and lack of love from family, and because of unnecessary restrictions, she tried to commit suicide by taking sleeping pills during the intermediate studies.
According to Mehran, she considered herself a ‘Wonder Girl’. She also complained that her family discouraged her in all walks of life. Before joining BDS, she took admission on self-finance basis at Bahria University Karachi. Her family used to make fun of her that Nimrata got admission on our money which made her depressed, then she prepared and got admission in BDS on merit.
“She often stayed with my family in our house. We agreed to the marriage but she was not fully prepared to embrace Islam, that is why she did not inform her parents.”
The investigating officer wrote that no witness or family spoke about Nimrita’s private life, Aleeshan Memon and Mehran Abro disclosed it, which is also confirmed by WhatsApp messages.
The investigating officer said: “I have carefully reviewed the call data records (CDRs) and reports. Mehran Abro had a close relationship and she was disappointed that he was not ready to marry her. There was also the aggressive attitude of the parents. Mehran Abro’s selfishness is evident and he wanted to take advantage of religion, his negligence demands disciplinary action and investigation.
The report also raises questions about the qualifications and credentials of the post-mortem doctor and the absence of the warden, deputy provost and provost in the hostel.
It may be recalled that after a lapse of one and half year, this report has not been made public and no action has been taken against anyone.
(Report Riaz Sohail Courtesy BBC Urdu)