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Friday, June 02, 2006

Pramod Mahajan’s secretary dead; son battling for life

Exactly a month after Pramod Mahajan's death, his family was in distress again on Friday as the late leader's son Rahul Mahajan was battling for life following suspected drug overdose or poisoning while his private secretary for 15 years Vivek Moitra was declared brought dead at Delhi's Apollo Hospital.

Servants, who rushed the two to the hospital early on Friday from Pramod Mahajan's 7, Safdarjang Road residence told police they had consumed liquor with three guests. The three are yet to be identified and traced.

A white powdery substance found from the place as well as bottles from which they consumed liquor were being examined by experts from the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory, DCP (New Delhi range) Manish Agarwal said.

He said there was no evidence of any struggle or commotion at the 7, Safdarjang road residence on Thursday night. There was no injury mark on the bodies.

The three men, who stayed there for nearly 45 minutes, were apparently friends of Moitra, police sources said.

While Moitra was declared dead on arrival at the Apollo Hospital at around 0315 hrs, Rahul had a low respiratory rate, low blood pressure and low oxygen level, hospital medical superintendent Ritu Rawat told reporters.

Rahul was put on ventilator support at the intensive care unit of the hospital, she said. His condition was ''critical, but stable'', she said.

A post mortem of Vivek as well as reports of the blood tests on Rahul later in the day would help identify whether they had drug overdose or were poisoned, hospital and police sources said.

Police officials, however, said they suspected foul play and had initiated a probe in this direction.

DCP Agarwal said the ''scene of crime'' had changed by the time police was informed and arrived on the scene. The glasses had been washed and the liquor bottles returned to the fridge.

Rahul was scheduled to leave for Guwahati via Kolkata by air on Friday morning to immerse his late father's ashes in the Brahmaputra and offer prayers at the famous Kamakhya temple, the family source said.

A couple of days back, Rahul participated in the BJP executive meeting and it was speculated that he may join the party following his father's death.

Pramod Mahajan, who was the BJP's general secretary, passed away on May 3, 2006, after being shot at by his brother Pravin Mahajan. He succumbed to his injuries after a 12-day fight for survival at Mumbai's Hinduja hospital.- New Indian Express.

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