Death of 532-kg drug hail accused: Autopsy shows no internal injury, SAD seeks HC-monitored probe

Kamaldeep Singh Brar
Gurpinder Singh

The last rites of Gurpinder Singh, key accused and crucial link to solving the mystery behind the 532-kg drug bust at the Attari-Wagah border, were performed in Amritsar on Monday. Gurpinder had died on Sunday while in judicial custody. The autopsy performed before the cremation showed no internal injury, but pointed to excessive bleeding as the cause of death.

The Akali Dal Monday demanded a High Court-monitored probe into his death, along with sacking of sacking of Jails Minister Sukhjinder Randhawa for the complete breakdown of administration in Punjab jails .

Amritsar-based importer, Gurpinder Singh (29), was found vomiting blood inside washroom of the Amritsar jail hospitalon Sunday morning at around 8.30 am, after which he was admitted to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, Amritsar. Gurpinder was declared brought dead by the hospital.

It was on Gurpinder s licence that the rock salt consignment carrying heroin was imported from Pakistan through the Wagah-Attari border for a Kashmiri trader, Tarik Ahmad Lone. He was the first person to be arrested after what was described as the biggest ever drug haul by the Customs Department.

Gurpinder was a diabetic and his blood sugar levels had started fluctuating soon after the arrest by Customs. He was hospitalised for four days after his arrest. His family has alleged that Gurpinder s health was neglected in custody, resulting in his death. Talking to The Indian Express on Sunday, Kanwaljit Kaur, Gurpinder s mother, had alleged: Gurpinder was diabetic and was under stress. He was not provided with necessary insulin inside jail and during police remand. My son died due to negligence of jail and police authorities.

Amritsar Jail Superintendent Arshdeep Singh Gill, however, had claimed that Gurpinder had proper supply of insulin in jail and there was no negligence.

On Monday, Gill said: There were eight patients in the hospital ward. Tarik Lone was also in same ward along with Gurpinder. The food was provided from jail kitchen to all the prisoners. Same food was shared by all prisoners in hospital wards,

Earlier in the day, a postmortem was conducted by a panel of doctors comprising, Ravi Tejpal, Kuldip Kumar, Jatinder Pal and Sunil Bharadwaj, under the supervision of CJM Ambika Sharma.

It was found that excessive bleeding was main reason behind his death. We have sent for several tests to ascertain why the bleeding happened. Multiple organs were involved in bleeding. Possibility of bleeding remains in diabetic condition. Haemorrhage in his food pipe and heart chord was found. Pathology experts can explain it better. No internal injury was found in the body, said Dr Kuldip Kumar.

Experts said exact reason behind the cause of bleeding will be ascertained after examining different samples collected from the body.

A local court granted a two-hour long bail to the Parminder Singh, brother of Gurpinder, to attend the cremation. Parminder is also lodged at the Amritsar jail after being booked by the Punjab Police as part of a parallel probe being conducted by it in the drug haul case.

After the cremation, Gurpinder s relative said: We want proper investigation in death of Gurpinder and security of the Parminder in jail. We hope Chief Minister will assure fair probe into death.

CM Amarinder Singh had on Sunday ordered a magisterial probe into the death. Opposition SAD, however, demanded the sacking of the state s Jails Minister.

In a statement, former SAD minister Maheshinder Singh Grewal said: All this is happening under the nose of the Jails Minister who is eager to give statements but does not even have basic knowledge of the Jail Manual. Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh should take prompt action against Sukhjinder Randhawa.

It was strange that Gurpinder had been denied appropriate medical attention….It needs to be ascertained if this was deliberate and whether there was any foul play behind the death of Gurpinder as is being claimed by his family, he added.

(Inputs from ENS Chandigarh)