On Wednesday, Human Resources Minister Smriti Irani said in Parliament, that no doctor was allowed near Rohith Vemula to revive him, quoting a police report. However, the police report, makes no mention of a doctor being disallowed or that Rohith’s body could have been revived.
In an emotionally charged speech on Wednesday night, Irani said: “Nobody allowed a doctor near this child, to revive this child, to take him to the hospital. Nobody allowed a doctor near him. The police has, madam reported. Not one attempt was made to revive this child. Not one attempt was made to take him to a doctor.”
She added: “No one allowed a doctor near this child. … those who were raising slogans (there), they did not want just, but politics. Who declared this boy dead. Who was medically equipped to declare this child dead? How many cases go, where an individual tries to hang himself and the vertebra does not break, pulse goes down to 30, 40, and an individual can be revived. Medically, there are people more expert. How many people? Who tried to help this child?”
She made this statement quoting from the Telangana police report.
The Telangana Police’s submission to the High Court simply had no mention of any doctor. The five-page report that is quite detailed, only talks about how the police got information about Rohith’s death at 7.20 pm and rushed to the room where the dead body had been placed on a bed. The report elaborates that the students started agitating after sometime and did not allow the body to be taken out till 6.30 am.
The morning after Irani addressed Parliament, The News Minute reported that Hyderabad University Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rajshree had declared Rohith Vemula dead at 7.30 pm. University students, too had countered Irani’s statement that no doctor was allowed near Rohith’s body.
How then, did Irani end up making that particular remark?
Dr. Rajshree’s report in the Health Book of the University (a copy of which is with The News Minute), records at 7.30 pm on the evening of January 17, that Rohith Vemula was dead.
The entry in the Health Book says that the body was “stiff, cold, rigid (rigor mortis)” and that he was “declared dead” at “approximately 7.30 pm”. Rigor mortis sets in only a few hours after death.
The post-mortem report also places the time of death between 2.45 pm and 8.45 pm. So was there really a question of reviving Rohith Vemula?
The doctor clearly says by the time she examined him, Rohith’s body was rigid, cold and tongue protruding out.
“I did the examination of the body. I found the body on a cot. The body with protruding tongue was rigid and cold. I checked for BP, for heartbeat. Then I came to the conclusion that he was dead. It took 10 to 15 minutes. Then I declared him dead and informed the security officer. I saw police personnel 10 or 15 minutes after I reached the spot,” Rajshree said on Thursday.