//Sahil Zaroo in police custody

Sahil Zaroo in police custody

Sahil Zaroo in police custodyNDTV Correspondent

Sunday, June 4, 2006 (New Delhi):

Sahil Zaroo, a young Kashmiri man who delivered drugs to Rahul Mahajan has been remanded to eight days in police custody.

Police are also holding Abdullah, a Nigerian and two other foreigners who are believed to have supplied the drugs.

Zaroo was brought to Delhi and interrogated for several hours after he surrendered to police in Srinagar on Saturday.

He admitted to snorting drugs at Mahajan's home in Delhi on Thursday night and confirmed that Mahajan and secretary Vivek Moitra also consumed the drug.

Moitra died the same night.

Scapegoat fears

Police have not questioned Mahajan, but a police team which went to Apollo Hospital to meet him, was turned away by doctors.

Senior advocate RK Anand said anyone consuming [banned narcotic] drugs could face arrest.

But Zaroo�s lawyer and family expressed fears that he might be made a scapegoat in the issue.

People make mistakes when they are young. We have to help them mend their ways. What happened is very tragic.
– Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Zaroo, the son of a carpet dealer based in Delhi wanted to know why the police was silent on the white power found in Rahul Mahajan's house.

The police say it has sent the white powder for tests, but significantly the case filed by them is under the Narcotics Act.

Conflicting reports

Mahajan's blood and urine samples tested at Lal Laboratories in Delhi showed faint traces of cocaine, opiates, cannabinoids and amphetamines.

But doctors at Apollo insist there is just not enough to prove that the drugs were consumed as pharmacologists said negligible amounts are not normally present and need to be investigated.

Apollo may be sticking to its guns – that there isn't any hard proof that Rahul had drugs – but there is other corroborative evidence.

Sources have told NDTV that the police's forensic examination indicates the presence of heroin at Mahajan's house.

At a glance
The Apollo hospital, where Rahul is being treated, maintains that its tests cannot detect the presence of trace elements of drugs below a certain limit.
More sophisticated tests at Lal laboratories in Delhi have confirmed traces of heroin and cocaine in Rahul Mahajan's urine.
Sources tell NDTV that the police's forensic tests have detected the presence of heroin at the Mahajan residence.
A post-mortem test on Vivek Moitra shows the presence of alcohol, but no drugs.
A viscera test report on Moitra is awaited, which will indicate whether or not there were drugs in Moitra's system.
A test of the gastric fluids of Rahul Mahajan is awaited from the CFSL, which can also confirm the presence of drugs in his system.
Besides this, there are eyewitness accounts of Mahajan and Moitra snorting drugs.
Funeral held

Separately, the body of Moitra was flown to Mumbai on Saturday night. It was taken to Municipal Corporation Hospital at Vashi in neighbouring Navi Mumbai.

The funeral took place Sunday morning.

Moitra was declared dead on admission at a Delhi hospital on Friday in the suspected drugs episode.

(With inputs from Anasuya Roy, Priyam Bhasin, Fayaz Bukhari, Sunetra Choudhury, Manu Sharma and Neeta Sharma)