Mumbai doctor finds no signs of torture on Chabad House bodies

Dr. Gajanan Chawan casts doubt on earlier report.

mumbai coffins 248.88 (photo credit: GPO)
mumbai coffins 248.88
(photo credit: GPO)
A hospital doctor at Mumbai's JJ Hospital, which received the bodies of six Jewish and Israeli hostages from the Chabad House terrorist siege, has cast doubt on a report claiming that signs of torture were apparent on the bodies of the victims. Dr. Gajanan Chawan, who saw the bodies, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday he did not believe the wounds he observed suggested the hostages had been tortured prior to their deaths. Asked if he saw any evidence of torture on the bodies, Chawan replied, "No, I don't think so." He added that the majority of the wounds he could identify had been caused by firearms. On Monday, a morgue employee at the JJ hospital who had also seen the bodies told the Post by telephone that the bodies of the Jewish victims had a higher number of gunshot wounds than the bodies of other victims. "On the Jewish bodies, there were more injuries in numbers, they were firearms injuries," the morgue official said. The bodies of the victims were flown to Israel on Monday after successful Israeli diplomatic efforts to prevent autopsies being performed on them in accordance with the religious sensitivities of some of the victims' families. On November 30, an article was posted on the Rediff Indian news portal which cited an unnamed doctor from an unspecified hospital as claiming that torture marks were evident on the hostages' bodies. "Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks. It was clear that they were killed on the 26th itself. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again," the doctor was quoted as saying. The report has since been widely circulated among news outlets and internet blogs. At least 172 people are believed to have died over 60 hours during the multiple terror attacks on Mumbai last week.