While the post-mortem reports have confirmed that the two minor cousins of Katra Sadatganj village in Badaun district were raped, the findings also suggest that they were both alive when they were hanged from a tree.
According to the reports, accessed by The Indian Express, the cause of death was identified as asphyxia “due to ante mortem hanging”, meaning the girls were alive when they were hanged.
Sources said the findings indicated “post-mortem staining” — a bluish discolouration due to distention of blood vessels — only on the lower part of the body, including the abdomen, back and legs. This indicates the position of the body at the time of death, said officials linked to the examination.
“The staining depends on the position of the body. If the victim is lying down, the stain will appear first on the neck and then travel down the back, barring the parts like calves and heels which are pressed down. If the victim has been vertically suspended or hanged, like in this case, the staining, also known as hypostasis, is most pronounced on the lower body,” said a senior official. The tongue was found protruding out, indicating that the hanging led to asphyxia, said officials.
According to the post-mortem examinations, the “perineal findings are 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 blood clot in around the vaginal area, clots and abrasions around the hymen. No other external injuries were found on both the bodies. Samples have been sent for DNA testing, including blood, vaginal smear slides, and the clothes of the victims.
Sources said Pappu, 22, one of the three accused brothers, told the police that while he had met the elder girl, who he claimed was a friend, he had not raped or murdered the younger cousin. He reportedly said he went home after meeting the victim, and was arrested the next morning. According to sources, Pappu’s two brothers have denied meeting the girls.
DNA samples of the accused, five have been arrested so far — two constables and the three brothers, have been sent to the Centre for DNA fingerprinting and Diagnostics in Hyderabad.
“The accused have given their statements, and the victims’ families have recorded their grievances. An FIR has been registered on the basis of the complaint and the post-mortem examination which definitely confirms rape and hanging of the two girls. We are going by purely scientific evidence. The maximum possible evidence that can be used for scientific tests, including DNA tests, has been retrieved and sent to a certified laboratory for examination. The statements will be corroborated with scientific tests,” said SSP Atul Saxena.
Meanwhile, the father of the three accused brothers said his sons should get a fair trial. “My only demand is that the trial should be fair. If my sons are guilty, punish them. But if they are innocent, let them go… and please spare the rest of us. The other day, men from the village threatened to enter my house with lathis… I collected my belongings and ran away to the jungles near the Ganga with the remaining members of my family,” said Veerpal Yadav. The family has since been living in their fields near the Ganga.
Yadav said his youngest son, Pappu, had a fight with another youth a day before the incident, allegedly over the elder victim. “We have nothing to do with the Mauryas, so we don’t go to that side. Pappu was adventurous and the naughtiest, he was working as a daily wage labourer. Urvesh, my second son, was studying in Class 12, and Avdesh, the eldest, married a year ago and just became a father,” he said.
Sources said Ashish Khetan will be the vice-chairman of the commission.