US national choked on mud in Goa, autopsy report indicates. Picture: Arambol Beach in Goa. [Representational Image]Wikimedia commons

The autopsy report of an American citizen, Caitanya Lila Holt, who died on 12 January after falling down in a paddy field in Korgao village in Goa, has revealed that his death was due to mud inhalation.

"The provisional cause of Caitanya Lila Holt's death has been identified as aspiration of grey-brownish matter. There are multiple injuries on the body, but they are non-fatal," a senior doctor at Goa Medical College and Hospital told Press Trust of India.

A team from the US consulate is in Goa and will be attending the post-mortem proceedings, a police official told IANS. The officials have also sought the details of the investigation. Caitanya's family in the US has been notified, NDTV quoted Heidi Hattenbach, an information officer with the US consulate as saying. 

The police did not provide details of the autopsy report. 

Caitanya, 30, who hailed from Ohio and was travelling in India to visit Hindu temples, displayed erratic behaviour on 12 January, which led to the villagers thinking that he was a thief and they chased him to the field, said Superintendent of Police Umesh Gaonkar.

"After he was chased (late on Tuesday), he fell into the watered field and probably choked on the slush. We used ropes to drag him out. He was barely alive when pulled out, but died later," Gaonkar told IANS.

"He went to the homes of villagers and asked irrational questions, which made the people suspicious. They began to chase him away. The chase of two-three km ended at the field, where the unfortunate incident occurred," he added.

Congress' spokesperson in Goa, Sunil Kawathanka, had sought an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation instead of from the local police.

"There should be thorough inquiry into why he was being chased and who was chasing him. We can't rely on local police for inquiry, it should be handed over to an agency like CBI as the matter is related to a foreign national," he told Press Trust of India.

The leader of opposition, Pratapsinh Rane, noted that the incident was a murder and tourism in Goa may take a hit as travellers could feel dissuaded from travelling to the coastal state now.