SIKKIM NEWS: Autopsy again on maid body

SIKKIM NEWS: Autopsy again on maid body – murder, suicide or delay in rescue, Hemlata’s pleas gone unheeded ?!!

Hemlata Chettri's body brought back - Singapore's statement not made available ?!! (Darpan)

FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT

Gangtok, June 29: A second post-mortem was conducted on the body of Hemlata Chettri at the South Sikkim district hospital on Monday as her family had doubts about the nature of autopsy held in Singapore where she had died under mysterious circumstances while working as a domestic help.

The last rites of the 32-year-old woman were performed at her native village in West Sikkim today.

“We don’t know what kind of post-mortem was done in Singapore. Another post-mortem was needed by our doctors for our satisfaction as we have doubts about the circumstances of her death,” said Iman Singh Limboo, a friend of Hemlata’s family.

The woman was found dead on June 22 morning in the basement of a building where she was working. Her family alleged that she had been murdered by her employers who used to torture her.

The family received a phone call on June 22 from an anonymous woman informing them that Hemlata had committed suicide by jumping from the building.

In Hemlata’s death certificate that the Indian high commission in Singapore had faxed to the family members here, the cause of death was listed as “craniocerebral injuries”.

After the body reached Sikkim on Saturday, the relatives submitted an application to the chief judicial magistrate (South and West) for a post-mortem. The autopsy was held at the South district hospital at Namchi. This is the second post-mortem as sources have told The Telegraph that an autopsy was conducted in Singapore.

“We will wait for the post-mortem report to come before proceeding further. The report will be available within a week,” said Limboo.

Deputy inspector-general of police, range, S. Rao said Sikkim police would conduct their own inquiries.

Sources said once the inquiry report was ready, the state government could forward it to the ministry of external affairs for the matter to be taken up with the Singapore authorities. They said the police would also probe the role of Ran Maya Subba with whom Hemlata had gone to Singapore to work.

Hemlata had left for Singapore with a friend from her village in Sombaria in November.

Fish float dead in aquarium – fresh water recycle or pollution problems ?!!

Exotic fish dead in Namchi aquarium - adjustment or neglect problems ?!! (Photo by Prabin Khaling)

FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT

Gangtok, June 29: Seven albino and black shark fish have surfaced dead at the Central Park Aquarium in Namchi, triggering questions on the safety of a dozen species reared at the facility.

The is the second incident of ornamental fish dying in less than two weeks in the aquarium that was set up as part of the beautification of the South Sikkim district headquarters in 2008.

“We noticed a difference in behaviour of 10 albino and black shark fish in their tank yesterday morning. Later, seven fish died and the other three are now kept under observation in a separate tank,” said Arjun Kumar Adhikari, the in-charge of Paksam Communication and Services that was given the charge of the aquarium.

“We have been taking care of the aquarium on a no-loss-no profit basis with whole hearted dedication as the concept itself was designed and developed by the agency,” said Adhikari.

The aquarium, set up in open space with a tree embracing it, has eight quarters to house species like angel fish, piranhas, parrot fish and gold fish. Most of the fish have been brought from Latin America, especially the Amazon forests.

Asked about the cause of the deaths, Adhikari said: “Most of the fish have shown some allergic reactions. Two dead fish have been sent for tests for investigation. We will look into the case from all angles and a detailed report will be submitted to the authorities in the first week of July.”

Sikkim urban development secretary Tobjor Dorjee said experts from Siliguri had been called to find out the cause of the deaths at the aquarium. “They will carry out an enquiry and submit a report to us in one week,” he said.

Three red tail catfish had floated dead in the aquarium on June 16 because of a snag in the continuous supply of fresh water at the facility.

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