An intimate relationship, a recorded mobile phone conversation, and a relative who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time — these crucial links and other details obtained from the questioning of over 200 people, and the results of 40 scientific reports, are what led the CBI to conclude that the Badaun “murder and gangrape” case was a double suicide.
Forensic reports from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory and a three-member medical board, and the CBI’s own investigations revealed that the allegations levelled against the five accused in the FIR were false, and the wrong people were arrested by UP police, officials said.
The elder of the two minor girls had an intimate relationship with the main accused Pappu Yadav, and it was an evening meeting between the two, when they were spotted by a relative of the girls, that triggered the events that led to the double suicide, the CBI found.
CBI officials said that the girls committed suicide shortly after their families played out a recorded telephone conversation with undertones of physical intimacy between Pappu and the elder girl in front of around 15 villagers.
CBI sources said that a closure report in the case would be filed in court Friday. They added that its findings are likely to lead to charges of filing a false case and destruction of evidence against the family of the two victims and a witness.
The girls, who were first cousins, were found hanging from a mango tree near their village on May 28; one was 14, the other slightly older. Based on their autopsy, it was initially believed that the girls were sexually assaulted and hanged. The girls’ families had also alleged that they were kidnapped and murdered by five youth from the village, including three brothers – Pappu, Awdesh and Urvesh Yadav – and two police constables Chhatrapal and Sarvesh Yadav. All five were arrested; the policemen were also discharged from service.
But a CBI official said the agency found that the post-mortem conducted by doctors in UP and the investigation by the state police were faulty.
“The menstrual blood of the younger girl was mistaken for blood from sexual assault. Moreover, discoloration in the genital area of the elder girl was opined to be due to sexual assault, but was actually because the bodies stayed hanging from the tree for 12 hours,” said the official, adding that the agency will send a report to the UP government on these lapses.
Elaborating on the CBI’s conclusions, the official said, “The movements of all others who could be possible suspects have been accounted for till 9.30 pm, and they all have alibis. There were no signs of violence or injury except ligature marks from hanging. Some classical signs of suicide by hanging identified by medical forensics – such as slightly protruded tongue, and fecal matter in the perineal region – were found on the two girls.”
The officer added, “They were found fully clothed, with their bangles, necklaces and clips in place. The tree chosen by them was the easiest to climb. The medical board and the CFSL have carried out a reconstruction with live dummies (girls) of the same weight and height as the two girls, which confirmed that it was possible for them to have hanged themselves from the tree. No cries for help were heard by those in the nearby houses. Forensic reports had earlier ruled out sexual assault, as well as presence of any male DNA on the belongings of the girls. No female DNA was found on the accused.”
Besides, the CBI official said the accused in the case were found to be truthful when they underwent a lie-detector test, while the girls’ family members were allegedly “deceptive and involved in hiding evidence such as slippers and mobile phones used by the girls”.
For instance, after sustained interrogation, a phone used by the girls had allegedly been handed over to the CBI, but without its memory card. Another phone found on the body of the elder girl was also allegedly handed to the CBI, but it had been broken.
Besides, the official said, multiple drafts of the complaint by the family were found with names of accused changed on them, indicating that the family had allegedly lodged a false FIR.
According to the CBI, the elder of the two victims had been in an intimate relationship with Pappu for around six months; there were close to 400 telephonic conversations between them. The younger cousin sister “facilitated the relationship.”
Reconstructing the suicide scenario, the officer said, “On the day before the crime, the younger girl called Pappu at 6 am and asked for money to visit a local fair. They agreed to meet in the evening. After dinner, on the pretext of answering nature’s call, the two girls went out of their house at around 9 pm and established contact with Pappu. The three met behind the girls’ house on the outskirts of the village, where the fodder for cattle was stored. The girls got Rs 200 from Pappu.”
With the younger girl keeping watch, Pappu and the elder girl “were about to engage in a consensual intimate act”, when Nazru stumbled on the scene at around 9.30 pm. “A minor scuffle broke out between Pappu and Nazru, following which the girls ran toward the adjacent field, Nazru ran towards the village, and Pappu headed for his house,” the officer said.
However, Nazru did not tell the girls’ families about what transpired, fearing he might be blamed, the CBI found. “Instead, he told them he suspected thieves had entered the village and called for a search party. Nazru took the group, including the fathers of the girls, to the spot where he had found Pappu and the girl but they found nothing amiss,” the official said.
It was when the group returned home and were informed by the women in the family that the girls had not returned that Nazru took Pappu’s name and blamed him for taking them away, the CBI found.
\”The family called around 15 villagers, and two of them went to Pappu’s house, where they found him with his two brothers. The girls’ families and the 15 villagers then looked around inside the house for the girls – the hunt went on till around 1.15 am,” said the official.
When one of the villagers said he had seen the younger girl speaking to someone on a mobile phone earlier, her family took out the phone, which had a conversation recording facility. “The conversation in which the younger girl asked for money for the fair and the agreement to meet in the evening was played out in front of around 15 villagers, following which the family decided to go to the police station,” the official added.
At around 2.30am, the police reached Pappu’s house, where he was found with his two brothers. Pappu allegedly pointed the needle of suspicion at Nazru. But when police firmly questioned Nazru, he began crying and the girls’ families claimed he was being harassed. They went with Nazru to the Badaun HQ to complain against the local police’s attitude. Close to 5 am, the families got a call informing them that the bodies of the girls had been found.
The CBI is yet to clearly establish the movements and actions of the two girls between 9.30 pm – when Nazru last saw them – and 5 am the following day, when their bodies were discovered hanging from a mango tree.
A phone that the girls had taken with them was found switched off after 9.30 pm, then switched on for 12 seconds at 11.40 pm, indicating they were still alive at the time. Medical experts and the medical board has found the time of death of the two girls to be 2 am.