Goa police tight-lipped on the death of two Telugu youth at Sunburn

Panaji: The autopsy of the two men who died while waiting to enter the Sunburn Klassique electronic dance music (EDM) festival was completed on Saturday, but doctors at Goa Medical College and Hospital called for further tests before declaring the cause of death.

Venkat, 26, of Vishakapatnam, and Sai Prasad, 31, of Hyderabad, collapsed and died under suspicious circumstances at Vagator, Goa while waiting in line to collect their wrist bands and enter the Sunburn Klassique venue.

A senior doctor said the viscera sample from the two victims would be sent to an independent forensic lab and only after receiving the report would the authorities confirm the cause of death.

“The post mortem of both the victims has been done, but doctors have reserved the report to declare the cause of death. Further Viscera test is required to ascertain the exact cause of death. Thus the viscera sample will be sent to a forensic lab out of Goa for examination,” said the doctor who is not authorised to speak to the media.

The two men who were declared dead on arrival at the hospital were among the hundred-odd party goers who had queued up to enter the venue on the first day of the three-day festival at Vagator. The two men were reportedly shivering uncontrollably when they were rushed to a nearby hospital.

Goa Police said that the final autopsy report would shed light on the circumstances that led to the death of the two men. Goa Police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 CrPC, which would enquire into the case which has been registered as unnatural deaths. “The findings would then be submitted to the sub-divisional magistrate,” a senior IPS officer said.

The deaths have shone an uncomfortable spotlight on EDMs in Goa which are associated with alcohol and drug abuse. The Congress party, which is the main opposition party in the state, has slammed chief minister Pramod Sawant and has demanded the resignation of tourism minister Manohar Agjaonkar.

“The tourism minister who publicly backed EDM festivals and insisted that such EDMs are required for the growth of tourism now must come clean on this incident. Given what has happened and failure of recovering government dues, tourism minister Azgaonkar should be sacked forthwith” said Congress spokesperson Trajano D’Mello.

D’Mello has sought an SIT to investigate the deaths by alleging that the two men could have died due to a drug overdose.

In 2015 a writ petition was filed before the Bombay High Court at Goa. The High Court while pronouncing its order said, “The venues where such musical festivals are conducted, as well as within the radius of at least 500 metres thereof a strict vigil has to be maintained to ensure that no person is in possession of such narcotic drugs and dealt with very severely.

Goa Police has insisted that it has complied with the High Court’s directives and has deployed the anti-narcotics cell (ANC) along with sniffer dogs to prevent the sale and consumption of drugs inside the venue. A specialised spectrometer is also being used to check for the presence of drugs, said the Police.

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