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Thursday, October 29, 2020

Forensic report shows Hathras teen was not raped: Police

The 19-year-old had been admitted to hospital in an unconscious state on September 14. She had regained consciousness on September 22 and recorded a statement before a magistrate saying she had been raped.

Written by Amil Bhatnagar | Hathras | Updated: October 2, 2020 4:14:21 am
Hathras gangrape: Policemen at the victim’s village, a day after her cremation. (Express photo by Gajendra Yadav)

The Uttar Pradesh Police Thursday said that a forensic report had shown that the 19-year-old Dalit woman killed in Hathras, allegedly by four upper caste men, had not been raped. On September 22, a week before she died, the woman had given a statement saying she had been sexually assaulted.

Addressing a press conference, Prashant Kumar, ADG (Law & Order), said, “As per the FSL (forensic science laboratory) report, no sperm or spermatozoa 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.”

The 19-year-old had been admitted to hospital in an unconscious state on September 14. She had regained consciousness on September 22 and recorded a statement before a magistrate saying she had been raped.

The woman’s post-mortem report, by Safdarjung Hospital, puts the cause of death as a cervical spine (neck) injury, caused by indirect blunt trauma.

Four men have been arrested in the case — Sandeep, 20, his uncle Ravi, 35, and their friends Ramu, 26, and Luv Kush, 23.

The police have maintained that in their initial complaint based on which an FIR was filed on September 14, the family had only said that the woman had been assaulted and no rape was mentioned. Hathras SP Vikrant Vir had said they had waited for the woman to regain consciousness. “During her admission (to hospital), there were times she was awake but was not in a fit state to give a version. On 21st, she gave a statement alleging that she had been gangraped and it was recorded in front of a magistrate. We added the relevant actions of gangrape and two persons were arrested.”

The ADG reiterated this at the press conference: “The family, in their initial complaint, had only mentioned maar peet, and no rape was mentioned.”

He alleged an attempt “to create caste tensions and cause social disharmony”. “Those people were trying to cause caste-based violence by putting out twisted facts in the media. The police, since day 1, has been carrying out due investigation which will continue to be carried out. There is also an attempt to defame the department and we will initiate action against such persons who do so.”

The post-mortem report, by the Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Vardhaman Mahavir College and Safdarjung Hospital, says the woman died due to “injury to the cervical spine (neck) produced by indirect blunt trauma and its resultant sequelae (condition due to a previous disease or injury)”. “The ligature mark on the neck is consistent with strangulation but it did not contribute to death in this case,” it adds.

The post-mortem report also states that the victim’s “hymen showed multiple old healed tears”, and that the “anal orifice showed old healed tear”.

The report also notes that a medical examination by the Aligarh hospital where she was taken first, dated September 22, had noted the ligature mark on her neck consistent with strangulation, and had found evidence of rape inconclusive. The Aligarh hospital had sent a sample for forensic tests. Safdarjung Hospital has also preserved viscera for forensic analysis.

The death summary, by the Department of Neurosurgery at Safdarjung Hospital, says there was an alleged history of rape and strangulation on September 14. The cause of death is provisional till the chemical analysis of the viscera is done, the report says.

The woman had been brought to Safdarjung Hospital after two weeks at Aligarh’s JNM Medical College, when her condition deteriorated. The victim died at 6.55 am on Tuesday, and was cremated at 3 am by the police, without the presence of her family, on Wednesday.

As a video surfaced on social media of him purportedly telling the woman’s family members in Hindi not to lose their “vishwasniyata (credibility)”, and that while it was up to change their statements, “kabhi hum bhi badal yaayen (the administration could change as well)”, District Magistrate Praveen Kumar Laxkar denied he had any such interaction with them. While he did not respond to calls and messages sent by The Indian Express, ANI quoted the DM as saying, “I met with six family members of the victim yesterday and we spoke for about an hour-and-a-half. I met with them again today to see their point of discontent. I deny the negative rumours which are rife about my interactions with them… Their main point of apprehension is that the convicted be punished and hanged to death. I tried to allay their fears and told them that the matter would be tried in a fast-track court.”

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