We demand an immediate high level Judicial Enquiry, CBI Judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya death 

A press conference was held today at Indian Women’s Press Corps in New Delhi, regarding the details that have emerged over the past two days about the mysterious circumstances under which 48-year-old CBI Judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya died.

The press conference was addressed by Apoorvanand, Hartosh Singh Bal, Manisha Sethi, Syeda Hameed & Shabnam Hashmi.

We are shocked and dismayed at the chilling details came out recently.

Deeply troubled by attacks on ordinary people, lynching of Dalits, Muslims, killings of  rationalists, journalists, activists over the past 3 years now we are suddenly faced with a new situation which forces us to ask: Would even the Judges and lawyers who refuse to tow the line be done away with? 

Brijgopal Harkishan Loya’s father Harkishan, sister Anuradha Biyani and niece Nupur Balaprasad Biyani have spoken after three years of his death to Niranjan Takle about the mysterious circumstances of his death in Nagpur in the night of Nov 30 or morning of Dec 1, 2014.

Loya was hearing the case, involving the allegedly staged encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in 2005. The prime accused in the case was Amit Shah—Gujarat’s minister of state for home at the time of the killing, and the BJP’s national president at the time of Loya’s death.

According to the family members Loya was persuaded to go to Nagpur (he was quite reluctant to go) to attend the wedding on November 30, 2014 of a colleagues’ daughter. On December 1, 2014 various members of the family received calls from someone who introduced himself as judge Barde informing them that Loya had a cardiac arrest and died, his post-mortem was done and his body had been sent to the ancestral home in Gategaon. They were told that he had chest pain, was taken to a private  Dande Hospital, in an auto rickshaw, later, he was shifted to Meditrina hospital—another private hospital. He was declared dead on arrival. Ishwar Baheti, an RSS worker, informed Loya’s father that he would arrange for the body to reach his native place.

Sarita Mandhane, also Loya’s sister, was in Latur, she got a call from Barde around 5 am informing her about Loya’s death. She went to pick up her nephew from a hospital in Latur where he had was admitted, but when they were leaving for Nagpur Ishwar Baheti, reached there and insisted they don’t go to Nagpur as the body was being sent to the native place.

The body was delivered at around 11.30 pm. The only person accompanying the body was the ambulance driver.

The media reported that judge had died of a heart attack.

According to Loya’s sister there was blood on his collar. Loya’s belt was twisted in the opposite direction, and the pant clip was broken. Loya’s father also said there were blood stains on the clothes. All pages of the post mortem report were signed by a paternal cousin, who no one knows from the family. The telephone was returned after many days without any data on it.

Loya’s sister ,Anuradha Biyani, a medical doctor based in Dhule, Maharashtra told Niranjan Takle that her brother had confided to her that Mohit Shah, then the chief justice of the Bombay High Court, had offered him a bribe of Rs 100 crore in return for a favorable judgment.

The investigative report which has appeared in three parts in The Caravan raises questions and points out to inconsistencies in the story told so far to the world and the family by officials.

  • Different versions of the time of death given in the PM report and telephonic information given to the family
  • Informing the family only after post mortem was done and not immediately when he was taken ill or immediately after his death
  • Loya was only 48 yrs with no history of any heart ailment
  • He was in a VIP guest house, a CBI Judge yet  taken to hospital in an auto-rickshaw to an obscure private hospital
  • the signature on every page of the post-mortem report by “maiyatacha chulatbhau”, or paternal cousin, according to the family there is no such person
  • the wiping clean of all data from Loya’s phone before it was returned to the family
  • the presence of blood on his clothes
  • the role played by an RSS activist in telling Loya’s family about the location of his body, and delivering his phone, to the family
  • Sending Loya’s body to the village unaccompanied by anyone but the ambulance driver
  • If it was a natural death why was the post mortem conducted
  • Why there was no panchnama
  • Barde had not gone with Loya, why did he call?
  • How did the RSS man know in which hospital Sarita Mandhane was?
  • Why did the PM report showed the clothes as ‘Dry’ when there were blood stains on them
  • Why was the family discouraged from doing a second post mortem?

We demand

  • an immediate high level Judicial Enquiry
  • security for the Loya family and the journalist Niranjan Takle

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