Three days after a 28-year-old inmate of a women protection home in Kanpur was brought dead to a local hospital, police on Friday lodged a murder case against unidentified persons. The woman, who had been staying at the home since 2010 and was allegedly undergoing treatment for epilepsy, was declared brought dead on arrival by doctors at Hallet Hospital on Tuesday. The home staff had alleged that she suffered seizures in the afternoon.
After her death, the hospital informed the police and a postmortem was conducted. The report stated that her death was caused by asphyxia due to smothering. Injury marks were found on her body, including private parts, it said.
“The vaginal swab has been sent for tests to confirm if the woman was sexually assaulted. Rape charge will be added in the FIR if the report confirms sexual assault,” said Swaroop Nagar police Circle Officer (CO) Abhay Narain Rai.
Swaroop Nagar police Station House Officer Rajeev Singh said that on Tuesday evening, Hallet Hospital informed them that a protection home inmate had been brought in dead. A police team visited the hospital and the body was sent for post-mortem, he added.
However, post-mortem could be conducted only on Thursday due to heavy rush, said the circle officer.
“On the basis of the report, a murder case was lodged against unidentified persons,” he added.
The police on Friday recorded the statement of the staff and inmates of the protection home.
“The staff claimed that victim was undergoing treatment for a mental disorder. She used to stay with seven other women at a hall in the home… we are yet to record the statements of all. We have collected footage from the eight CCTV cameras installed inside and outside the home. While scanning the footage, we are yet to see any suspicious activity going on at the home,” said Rai.
Kanpur District Probation Officer Neelam Verma, also the officiating superintendent of the protection home, said the woman was sent to Kanpur in 2005 after she was found in Mumbai. “She had claimed that she was from Kanpur. She was initially kept at the state children home in Kanpur before being shifted to the protection home in 2010. Her family is yet to be traced,” she added.
“I had visited the protection home after coming to know about the death. The woman was suffering from epilepsy and was undergoing treatment. The staff told me that on Tuesday, she had suffered an attack and they took her to the hospital where she was declared brought dead on arrival. She was not well for the last few days. The police investigation will find out how she died,” she added.
At present, 87 women stay in the protection home, said Verma.
Kanpur Assailant Superintendent of Police (West) Gaurav Grover said, “We are waiting for the test report of vaginal swab… There are 15 employees in the home and the investigation will ascertain who is responsible for the death. Therefore, the case has been lodged against unidentified persons.”