New Delhi, India: A doctor testified Tuesday he removed only two out of 30 bullets that struck Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
But the physician, T. D. Dogra, denied accusations by a defense lawyer that he left most of the bullets in the body to conceal evidence of additional assassins.
“You concealed vital evidence of other assailants by not extracting those other bullets,” defense lawyer Pran Nath Lekhi told the doctor who performed the autopsy. “There could have been 30 persons firing (to cause) the 30 entry wounds.”
But Dogra said he decided to remove only two of the bullets to avoid mutilating the body. He also argued that the two bullets he removed had made wounds sufficient to cause death.
But under cross-examination, Dogra said that at least one of the 28 other bullets that hit Gandhi could have killed her on its own.
Three persons are on trial for Gandhi’s assassination. Policeman Satwang Singh is accused of doing the actual shooting. Kehar Singh and Balbir Singh are accused of inspiring and plotting the murder. The three are not related.
Lekhi said Dogra also removed only two bullets from the body of policeman Beant Singh, one of two security guards accused of shooting Gandhi.
The defense lawyer said the decision to leave the remaining bullets in the bodies meant that vital evidence was destroyed when the bodies were cremated.
Dogra also testified that all of the bullets had been fired from in front of the prime minister and that there were no entry wounds in her back.
The doctor said the wounds could have been received while she was standing, falling or lying on the ground.
For security reasons, the trial is being held in a makeshift courtroom at “New Delhi’s Tihar jail, where the three defendants are being held.
The prosecution has charged the three men plotted the assassination to avenge Gandhi’s action against the Golden Temple of Amritsar. Indian army troops stormed the temple, the holiest shrine of the Sikh religion, in June 1984 in a battle that killed more than 6,000 people.
The trial resumes Wednesday.
Article extracted from this publication >> July 26, 1985