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Thursday, October 29, 2020

FSL report (saying no rape) used samples 11 days old, has no value: Aligarh CMO

“The samples were collected 11 days after the woman was allegedly raped, while government guidelines strictly say forensic evidence can only be found up to 96 hours after the incident. This report can’t confirm rape in this incident,” Dr Azeem Malik, the CMO, told The Indian Express.

Written by Jignasa Sinha | Hathras | Updated: October 5, 2020 7:02:16 am
hathras rape case, hathras gangrape, hathras case, up police, dalit woman raped, hathras news, hathras latest news, indian express newsThe funeral pyre of the Hathras victim, hours later. (Express photo: Amil Bhatnagar)

The Chief Medical Officer of Aligarh Muslim University’s (AMU’s) Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, where the 19-year-old Hathras victim was admitted for two weeks, has told The Indian Express that the FSL report — which Uttar Pradesh Police has relied on to say she was not raped — “holds no value”.

“The samples were collected 11 days after the woman was allegedly raped, while government guidelines strictly say forensic evidence can only be found up to 96 hours after the incident. This report can’t confirm rape in this incident,” Dr Azeem Malik, the CMO, told The Indian Express.

The Dalit woman had been assaulted, allegedly by four upper caste men, on September 14, and was able to provide the details of the alleged sexual assault after she regained consciousness at the AMU hospital on September 22. After her statement was recorded before a magistrate, police had added relevant sections of rape to the FIR.

Also Read | Hathras gangrape: ‘We are Dalits, that’s our sin… We want our children to leave’

Following her statement, samples were sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory, which received them on September 25 – 11 days after the attack. It was based on this FSL report that the UP Police claimed that the woman was not raped. At a press conference on Thursday, Prashant Kumar, ADG (Law & Order), had said, “As per the FSL (forensic science laboratory) report, no semen or sperm secretion was found in the viscera sample. The post mortem report states that the cause of death was due to trauma caused by the assault. Despite the statements by officials, some wrong information was circulated in the media.”

On October 3, the Department of Forensic Medicine at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College wrote to the Circle Officer of Sadabad police station in Hathras with the subject, “Final opinion in response to your letter”. Signed by Assistant Professor Dr Faiz Ahmad and Chairman Dr Saeed, it gave a “final opinion” with reference to the circle officer’s letter “and the FSL report”, stating that “there are no signs suggestive of vaginal/anal intercourse” and “there are evidences of physical assault (injuries over the neck and back)”.

Dr Hamza Malik, president of the Resident Doctors’ Association at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, called the FSL report “unreliable”.

Also Read | Hathras gangrape: ‘My daughter said she wanted to come home… She was conscious again, I thought she would survive’

“How will the FSL team find evidence of rape 11 days later? Sperm doesn’t survive after 2-3 days. They took samples from hair, clothes, nail bed and vaginal-anal orifice; the samples may not show presence of semen because of urination, defecation and menstruation.”

On September 22, a doctor had conducted a medicolegal investigation on the woman and given a “provisional opinion” that “on the basis of local examination, I am of the opinion that there are signs of use of force”, reports show. The doctor had added: “However, opinion regarding penetrative intercourse is reserved pending availability of FSL reports.”

The September 22 report also mentioned, based on details provided by the woman, that there was “complete” “penetration by penis” of the “vagina”.

The report said, based on details provided by her, that she was “gagged” and “strangulated by dupatta”. The section in the report, verbal threats, mentions: “Yes, threat to kill.” The report also mentions the “assailants” as “Sandeep, Ramu, Luv Kush, Ravi”.

The woman’s post mortem report from Safdarjung Hospital had also stated that her “hymen showed multiple old healed tears”, and that the “anal orifice showed old healed tear”.

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