Row over dead constable, witnesses say he wasn't hit

Row over dead constable, witnesses say he wasn't hit

Row over dead constable, witnesses say he wasn't hit

The death of a Delhi policeman was wrapped in mystery Wednesday after two witnesses refuted police claims that he died following a vicious attack during a Sunday street protest.

A young man and a young woman who were part of the gang-rape demonstration told the media that they saw constable Subhash Chand Tomar fall while running on a street leading to India Gate.

Contradicting police claims that the 47-year-old was viciously attacked and trampled upon, Yogendra Tomar and Pauline said in separate statements that there was no truth in the allegations.

Yogendra said policeman Tomar collapsed while chasing the protesters.

"He wasn't assaulted or trampled," Yogendra told television channels. "He fell on his own while chasing the crowd. In fact many protesters came to help him." Video recording of the scene showed both Yogendra and Pauline along with a handful of others assisting the fallen policeman.

Pauline backed Yogendra's version and explained in detail how their efforts to revive the unconscious policeman failed. She said she saw "no visible injuries" on the constable.
"We opened his jacket and shirt. He was sweating profusely," Pauline said.

While police said the constable was beaten by protesters, Pauline said there was no crowd when Tomar fell. "I saw him falling. He had no injuries. He just collapsed. There was no crowd at all," she said.

Pauline said she and the others shifted Tomar to a pavement to prevent him from getting trampled by crowds. She complained that it were the police who failed to come to the rescue of their fallen colleague.

She said she saw police personnel look at him and move on. "Finally, two policemen joined us." She said she placed Tomar's head on her lap, addressed him as "uncle" and asked him to try to breathe.

Delhi Police had been claiming that protesters had kicked and trampled him after he was injured in a mob attack. Yogendra and Pauline vehemently denied this.

Police arrested eight people Sunday night for the alleged attack on Tomar but they got bail the next day.

On Tuesday, after Tomar died and was cremated with state honours, police said the accused would be booked for murder.

On Wednesday, police said on the basis of the post-mortem report that Tomar had suffered "multiple internal injuries produced with the impact of a blunt object on his neck and chest" but did not specifically talk about a mob attack.

Additional Commissioner of Police K.C. Dwivedi said: "The cardiac arrest was precipitated by injuries to his body parts."

The Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital where Tomar died said Wednesday that he had "no major external injury marks except for some cuts on his right knee and bruises on his chest".

"He was brought here in a total collapsed stage," Medical Superintendent T.S. Sidhu said. "He had already suffered a cardiac arrest and had almost no pulse. We revived him and shifted him to the ICU and he was put on ventilator," he added.

Amid the contradictory claims, Delhi Police said their Crime Branch would probe his death.
Police arrested eight people Sunday night for the alleged attack on Tomar. The eight were granted bail the next day.

Police said Wednesday, a day after Tomar died, that the eight have been booked for murder.