Badaun story gets curiouser: Forensics lab finds no ‘proof’ of sexual assault

The expert medical panel will now reach a conclusion on the nature of the deaths of the girls.

Written by Ritu Sarin | New Delhi | Updated: August 21, 2014 1:39:36 pm
The tree where the bodies were found. The tree where the bodies were found.

A crucial forensic analysis report in the alleged Badaun rape-murder case has found no male DNA on the clothes and personal effects of the teen cousins.

The analysis also found no female DNA on samples taken from the clothes and bodies of the male suspects, virtually ruling out sexual assault, or even close physical contact between the teens and the men alleged to have raped and killed them.

The Hyderabad-based Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), which examined 38 exhibits for traces of DNA, submitted its report to the CBI last week.

The report has been given to the expert medical panel that will now have to reach a conclusion on the nature of the deaths of the girls, who were found hanging from a mango tree in Katra Sadatganj village in Usait, Badaun, at dawn on May 28.

The girls were buried by the Ganga at a spot which went under water amid heavy rain last month, putting paid to the CBI’s plans to exhume the bodies. The accused — brothers Pappu Yadav, Awadesh Yadav and Urvesh Yadav, and two police constables, Chhatrapal Yadav and Sarvesh Yadav — have been in custody for almost three months, and may have to be freed if the CBI fails to chargesheet them next week.

The CDFD report, which has been accessed by The Indian Express, states that DNA isolation and profiling of the 38 exhibits “did not yield any male DNA profiling”, and also “did not yield any female DNA profile”.

Among the exhibits that were analysed for traces of DNA of the accused were items of clothing worn by the two victims — salwars, kurtas, dupattas and undergarments — their nose pins and rings, and a plastic band, a metal band, and sacred thread that they wore on their wrists.

Trousers and shirts worn by the accused were profiled; as were blood samples and penile and vaginal swabs.
Commenting on the import of the CDFD report, CBI investigators told The Indian Express that while the absence of DNA on any of the exhibits did rule out sexual assault or violent physical contact, it did not entirely rule out “casual contact”.

The next hearing in the case is on August 25. The CBI has only a few days to put together the report of the medical board (which has also been given a copy of the autopsy report), the video of the post mortem examination (the report of which suggested sexual assault), and the reports of the polygraph tests given to the accused and members of the victims’ families by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL).

Officials said that while polygraph tests on the accused showed virtually no deception, the tests on the members of the girls’ families showed deception “to quite an extent”.

The report of the post mortem examination carried out by a team of three doctors in Badaun on May 28 said both girls died of asphyxia due to ante mortem hanging. There was post mortem staining on lower part of body, perineal findings suggestive of rape.

Multiple vaginal tears, vaginal discharge and bluish colouring in the perineal areas were found in the elder cousin. The younger girl had a blood clot in the vaginal area, and clots and abrasions around the hymen.

On June 7, Uttar Pradesh DGP A L Banerjee said it was possible that one of the girls had not been raped, and that the killings might have been triggered by a property dispute. CBI carried out polygraph tests on the accused on June 26, and on the fathers of the two victims, an uncle and an eyewitness, on July 7.

In late July, the CBI set up a medical board comprising three AIIMS doctors headed by Dr Adarsh Kumar. On July 17, the agency announced it intended to exhume the bodies for another autopsy. But attempts at exhumation were suspended on July 20 due to flooding in the Ganga.

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