This Article is From Jul 12, 2013

Murder or suicide? Madras High Court orders second autopsy on Dalit man

Murder or suicide? Madras High Court orders second autopsy on Dalit man
Chennai: The Madras High Court has ordered a second autopsy on the body of Ilavarasan, a Dalit man, who was found dead on July 4 in Tamil Nadu. The 21-year-old had married a girl from the Vanniyar community; his family alleges it is a case of murder.

Three doctors from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) will perform the second autopsy.

The High Court's order comes after two doctors who re-examined the body gave conflicting opinions. The court, however, emphasised that their order does not doubt or cast any aspersions on the first post mortem performed by a team of three government doctors in Dharmapuri.

Earlier, seven forensic experts including one chosen by Ilavarasan's family had viewed the video recording of the first autopsy. Of the seven doctors, only the one chosen by the family wanted a second autopsy.

The first autopsy report had revealed that Ilavarasan died of a head injury. His parents, however, suspect foul play and point fingers at the dominant Vanniyar community and the PMK that backs it. A second autopsy performed in the presence of their doctor, they hope, would find evidence that would strengthen their case. However, sources close to the PMK leadership have denied any role in this.

Police sources, meanwhile, claim it is a case of suicide.

Ilavarasan had married Divya, a Vanniyar girl, last August. Weeks after they eloped, Divya's father committed suicide which triggered riots against Dalits in and around their village. Around 250 Dalit homes were allegedly torched by Vanniyars.

Divya appeared before the court last Wednesday and said she doesn't want to return to her husband citing continuing animosity between the two communities and haunting memories of her late father. The following day, her husband was found dead near a railway track.