//Pramod Mahajan's secretary dies, Rahul in intensive care unit

Pramod Mahajan's secretary dies, Rahul in intensive care unit

Brajesh Kumar , Friday, June 02, 2006 , DNA India

Aide Vivek Moitra dies after late night party. Three of four guests surrender, say cocaine was used.

NEW DELHI: Exactly a month after BJP leader Pramod Mahajan passed away, his son Rahul is battling for life in hospital while trusted aide Vivek Moitra is dead.

The two fell unconscious after a late-night party at Pramod Mahajan's official 7 Safdarjung Road residence. The party was attended by four others who joined the duo late at night and are believed to have procured a "white powder", suspected to have been cocaine. Police later seized a polythene packet containing the substance from the bungalow.

Three of the visitors who had decamped after Mahajan and Moitra took ill presented themselves at the Mandir Marg police station late at night. They were identified only as Rahul, Karan and Tishay. They told NDTV that cocaine and champagne were consumed at the party. They also said that Rahul Mahajan made the cocaine line on the table and used a Rs 500 note to snort it. The fourth man, Sahil, is still at large.

Mahajan and Moitra had arrived in New Delhi from Indore on Thursday evening and were to leave for Assam to immerse Pramod Mahajan's ashes in the Brahmaputra. But a few hours later, Moitra was dead while Mahajan was on a ventilator in the ICU of the Indraprastha Apollo hospital.

Moitra died before he could be admitted to hospital. Mahajan's condition was so critical that doctors could not record a pulse. Even late at night his condition was described as critical. Moitra's post-mortem was conducted at AIIMS. The preliminary report suggested death by poisoning.

Police were informed about the case by the hospital's security guards. But by the time they reached the Mahajan bungalow, servants had cleaned up the vomit on the floor and cleared away the champagne bottles and glasses, said Manish Aggrawal, additional DCP, New Delhi. Police, however, recovered two champagne bottles besides the polythene packet.

A team from the CBI's Central Forensic Science Laboratory also visited the spot and took fingerprint samples and traces of the white substance.

Mahajan's family and friends visited him in hospital on Friday but were not ready to consider that he could have had a drug overdose. His personal physician, Dr Nirmal Surya, who flew in from Mumbai in the afternoon, insisted the symptoms were not those resulting from a drug overdose.

Police were tight-lipped about any leads in the case. A source said the entire investigation is based on the visitors. Police have verified that they called on Moitra's cell phone before arriving at the bungalow. The men were not known to any of the servants at the bungalow.