Vimal Dajibhai was a 24-year-old electronics graduate who worked at Marconi
Underwater Systems in Croxley Green. In August 1986 his crumpled body was found
lying on the pavement 240 feet below the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol.
An inquest was unable to determine whether Dajibhai had been pushed off the bridge or whether he had jumped. There had been no witnesses. The verdict was left open. Yet, authorities did their best to pin his death on suicide.
Police testified that Dajibhai had been suffering from depression, something his family and friends flatly denied. Dajibhai had absolutely no history of personal or emotional problems.
Police also claimed that the deceased had been drinking with a friend, Heyat Shah, shortly before his death, and that a bottle of wine and two used paper cups had been found in his car. Yet, forensic tests were never done on the auto, and those who knew Vimal, including Shah, say that he had never taken a drink of alcohol in his life.
Investigating journalists found discrepancies in other evidence. "A police report noted a puncture mark on Dijabhai's left buttock after his fall from the bridge," explains Tony Collins, who covered the story for Britain's COMPUTER NEWS magazine. "Apparently, this was the reason his funeral was halted seconds before the cremation was to take place.
"Members of the Family were told that the body was to be taken away for a second postmortem, to be done by a top home- office pathologist. That's not normal. Then, a few months later, police held a press conference and announced that it hadn't been a puncture mark after all, that it was a wound caused by a bone fragment.
"I find it very difficult to reconcile the initial coroner's report with what the police were saying a few months later," Collins contends. Did 22 SDI Researchers really ALL Commit Suicide?
August 4, 1986: Vimal Dajibhai, 24
--Expertise: Computer software engineer with Marconi, responsible for testing computer control systems of Tigerfish and Stingray torpedoes at Marconi Underwater Systems at Croxley Green, Hertfordshire.
--Circumstance of Death: Death by 74m (240ft.) fall from Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol. Police report on the body mentioned a needle-sized puncture wound on the left buttock, but this was later dismissed as being a result of the fall. Dajibhai had been looking forward to starting a new job in the City of London and friends had confirmed that there was no reason for him to commit suicide. At the time of his death he was in the last week of his work with Marconi.
--Coroner's verdict: Open.