Traces of cocaine found in Indrani's urine samples: jail official

Traces of cocaine found in Indrani's urine samples: jail official
In a twist to the probe into media professional Indrani Mukerjea's hospitalisation last week, jail authorities here today claimed she had suffered from neither drug overdose nor poisoning, ruling out possibility of sabotage or a suicide attempt.

"There was no overdose, nor any poison. Her condition could have worsened as she had briefly stopped taking medicines and was suffering from weakness," said the Inspector General of Prisons Bipin Kumar Singh, adding that Indrani, a prime accused in Sheena Bora murder case, had a history of fainting.

"I have come to the conclusion that there is no evidence of foul play, sabotage or conspiracy. Also there is no evidence of attempt to commit suicide," he said, addressing a press conference at Byculla jail here.

Maharashtra Principal Secretary (Home) Vijay Satbir Singh, referring to media reports, said that the amount of cocaine found in her urine samples was very small.

The amount of cocaine was negligible, and as she was on anti-depression and anti-anxiety drugs, which could be the reason for presence of cocaine in urine, he said.

Bhushan Kumar Upadhaye, ADG, prisons, said pesticides in fruits and vegetables consumed by a person could also cause cocaine to show up in such tests.

"The level of cocaine in her urine was 35 nano grams per millilitres of blood while the normal level is up to 300 nano grams," Satbir Singh said.

IG Bipin Kumar Singh said on September 8 Indrani had fainted in the prison and she was given medicines by the jail doctors.

"On the next day, a psychiatrist from JJ hospital had diagnosed her," he said. "On September 10, she complained of body pain, lack of sleep and restlessness and even then she was treated by jail doctors. Then she was having tablets between September 12 to 26, while between September 26 to October 2, she was not taking any tablets," he said.

Indrani was rushed to the government-run JJ Hospital here on October 2 from the Byculla prison after she fainted.

Bipin Kumar Singh said that he had recorded statements of 32 persons and also studied CCTV footages during the probe of the episode, ordered by the state government.

Singh pointed out that FSL report had said that no poison was found. Contrary to some reports, Indrani never hoarded medicines; she always took them in front of jail guards, he said.

From the jail, Indrani had written four letters to her husband Peter Mukerjea and received two letters. "No family members have met her in jail, while the British consulate officials will meet her in jail on Monday," he said.

Asked about conflicting reports from the Hinduja Hospital and the JJ hospital, Satbir Singh said she had been given symptomatic treatment at JJ, fearing that there had been drug overdose. The FSL report was the final one, he said.

Satbir Singh also said he had spoken to Indrani, and she had no complaints about the jail. She is presently undergoing treatment (in jail) for 'chronic ischaemia' (a condition related to inadequate blood supply to body organs), he said.

Indrani was arrested on August 25 for her alleged role in the murder of Sheena, her 24-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, on April 24, 2012. The two other accused in the case are Shyamvar Rai, Indrani's former driver and her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna.

Yesterday the CBI, which has taken over the case, asked the Maharashtra government to preserve samples of all the body fluids of Indrani, collected during her hospitalisation, and also the reports prepared by various authorities.

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