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Madras HC: Exhume body of fisherman, hold re-postmortem

MADURAI: The Madras high court on Tuesday directed a team of experts to exhume and conduct a re-postmortem on the body of the Pudukottai fisherman on November 18, after taking into account the apprehension raised by his wife that her husband’s death was due to gunshot injuries suffered at the hands of the Sri Lankan authorities who had opened fire mid-sea.

The court passed the order while hearing the petition filed by R Brundha, wife of the deceased fisherman R Raj Kiran.

Justice G R Swaminathan said that while the authorities stated that the petitioner’s husband died as he fell into the sea following a collision of his boat manned by him with a Sri Lankan navy vessel, the petitioner contended that her husband died due to gunshot injuries.

The judge said that it was further contention of the petitioner that though the postmortem was performed at the Jaffna Medical College Hospital in Sri Lanka, the postmortem certificate was not handed over to her. The petitioner was not allowed to see her husband’s body before burial as the body came in a sealed coffin.

The judge observed that when such genuine apprehension is raised by the petitioner, it is the duty of the state to allay the same. The judge directed a team of experts to exhume and perform a re-postmortem on Kiran’s body on the site itself on November 18. The judge also permitted a retired forensic science professor representing the petitioner to be present when the procedure is done. The judge directed the authorities to submit the re-postmortem report before the court and directed to serve the same to the petitioner’s counsel.

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