The family of Nimrita Amarta Maher Chandani — a BDS final-year student at Bibi Aseefa Dental College (BADC) who was found dead in her hostel room in Larkana yesterday — has refuted earlier reports that the student committed suicide and demanded a "transparent investigation" into the circumstances of her death.
Yesterday, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University (SMBBMU) Vice Chancellor Prof Aneela Attaur Rehman had told Dawn that Nimrita was found dead in her room, which was locked. She said that the mobile phone and other belongings of the deceased student, along with other evidence, were taken into custody by police for a forensic analysis. The actual cause of her death has yet to be ascertained, she had said.
Police officials had not stated a cause of death either. A source at the Chandka Medical College (CMC) — where Nimrita's body had been taken after being found in her room — had expressed suspicion that the victim might have committed suicide.
Nimrita's brother Dr Vishal, a medical consultant in Dow Medical College in Karachi, told the media that the marks around her neck suggested that she had not committed suicide. He had further claimed that the marks on her neck looked like those made by cable wires, while the wounds on her arms suggested that someone was holding her down.
Talking to DawnNewsTV today, Nimrita's uncle said that they wanted an investigation into why her body was kept in CMC's intensive care unit before the family reached the hospital. He accused the doctors of being involved in the "murder" and questioned why a post-mortem examination had not been conducted.
A first information report (FIR) of the incident is yet to be registered. Nimrita's family said they will lodge a complaint with the police once they receive a post-mortem examination report.
Larkana DIG Police Range Irfan Ali Baloch told Dawn that Nimrita's laptop and mobile phone are in the police's custody. He said that the police were trying to decrypt the passwords on the devices.
Regarding the registration of a case, the DIG said that the police were awaiting results of the girl's autopsy because even a provisional report of her post mortem had not been provided to them yet.
Activist Kakoo Ram repeated the allegations of the deceased's uncle and said that Nimrita was a social activist. He demanded that the Larkana administration look into the matter.
Nimrita was laid to rest in her hometown in Ghotki today. The Hindu community in Mirpur Mathelo shut down their businesses and shops in order to mourn her death and register their protest. Social media users also demanded an investigation into her death.
Meanwhile, PPP leader Nisar Khuhro told reporters that a post-mortem examination of Nimrita's body has been carried out and that the report would determine whether she was murdered or had committed suicide.
Khuhro said that the police were investigating the case "from all angles" and added that police will take strict action if it turns out to be a murder case.
With additional reporting from Mohammad Hussain Khan.