The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is learnt to have scheduled the second autopsy on the teenage victims of the alleged Badaun gangrape-murder for Thursday.
Till Tuesday evening, however, the UP Police had received no communication from the CBI about the exhumation of the bodies which, buried in a grave by the Ganga, appeared to be in serious danger of being washed away by the rising river.
The CBI last week announced it would exhume the bodies that were found hanging from the branches of a mango tree in Katra Sadatganj village early on May 28.
Some days before this announcement — in the first week of July — the agency had approached AIIMS to set up a panel to conduct a post mortem examination of the exhumed remains, sources said.
Late last week, the sources said, AIIMS proposed the date of July 17 for the autopsies.
AIIMS has also submitted names of three forensic experts to carry out the autopsies, the sources said; however, CBI had not, until Tuesday, handed over documents confirming permission to exhume the bodies.
According to the sources, the CBI had forwarded the date submitted by AIIMS to the SSP and DM of Badaun, and was likely to approach a local court for permission on Wednesday.
SSP L R Kumar, however, said he had not been informed yet. “We have not been told when CBI would exhume the bodies. But informally, we have made all possible arrangements. Other arrangements will be made once we know when the CBI wants to carry out the process,” Kumar said.
Police were worried that a spell of heavy rain, or release of water from the Haridwar barrage upstream, might flood the Ganga’s banks at the ghat where the girls are buried, at a spot the police have marked with a red cloth tied to a bamboo stick.
Badaun’s SP (City) Mann Singh Chauhan said he had written to the UP government’s flood control department, asking for steps. “I have told the flood control department, both verbally and by means of a letter, to put in measures to try to protect and preserve the remains of the two girls,” Chauhan said.
“The executive engineer has told me that their steps could help for another two days, but only if it doesn’t rain and the water level doesn’t rise. The monsoon has been delayed, but rains are expected any day now,” he added.
The water was barely three metres from the graves on Tuesday, its level having risen to 161 m. Last July, the ghat and nearby areas had been submerged completely, as the water level crossed the 164.5-metre danger mark by a full 1 metre.
The shop had stored over 20 drums of kerosene that fuelled the blaze and it quickly spread through the entire building.