New forensic report rules out rape in Bhandara casehttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/new-forensic-report-rules-out-rape-in-bhandara-case/

New forensic report rules out rape in Bhandara case

Challenging the autopsy reports of the three minor sisters who were found in a well in Bhandara,a fresh forensic report released on Monday ruled out rape

Challenging the autopsy reports of the three minor sisters who were found in a well in Bhandara,a fresh forensic report released on Monday ruled out rape. The report states that the findings suggest “death due to asphyxia as a result of drowning”.

The report by the Department of Forensic Medicine,of the state-run Grant medical College and Sir J J Group of Hospitals quotes Associate Professor Dr B G Chikhalkar and Professor and head of the department Dr S D Nanandkar’s findings,and is the third such forensic report from a government medical institute. So far,KEM Hospital,Mumbai and AIIMS,New Delhi,have ruled out rape,even as autopsy surgeons in Bhandara stood their ground.

In the new forensic report,issued on March 11,doctors have stated that the drowning is Ante-Mortem and dismissed sexual assault.

The Bhandara Police had asked three independent reports from New Delhi and Mumbai in the first week of March,after a February autopsy report said all the minor girls were raped.

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The doctors have criticised the capability of autopsy surgeons stating “there is misinterpretation of autopsy findings and decomposition artefacts by autopsy surgeons,” and called the entire method of autopsy “unsatisfactory”.

In the one-page forensic report addressed to the investigating officer of Bhandara,the findings has listed manner of death as “unnatural”. The opinion on homicide,suicide and accident is left open.

While the girls went missing on February 14,their bodies were fished out at 4.30 pm on February 16. The autopsy was done on February 17 at 12 noon. The report states the time interval to death is about 48-72 hours prior to postmortem examination. This is in contradiction to the autopsy findings. The report says that all bodies were “reasonably” fresh when fished out,and that there is considerable delay of at least 16 hours in inquest and subsequent postmortem examinations.