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Hathras case | No signs of intercourse, says forensic report

Activists light candles during a protest in Gurugram on October 3, 2020 against the death of a 19-year-old Dalit woman who was allegedly gang-raped in U.P.’s Hathras.   | Photo Credit: PTI

In its final report on the Hathras victim, the Department of Forensic Medicine of the Aligarh Muslim University’s Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital (JNMCH) has said there were no signs suggestive of vaginal/ anal intercourse. It, however, said there was evidence of physical assault (injuries over the neck and the back).

The forensic report prepared on Saturday and signed by Dr Sadiya Saeed, Chairman of the Department of Forensic Medicine and assistant professor Faiz Ahmad, said it was in reference to the FSL report number 4807-Bio-2020, conducted at the government lab in Agra. The FSL report had stated that the investigation didn't find any sperm in the samples. It was on the basis of the FSL report that ADG Prashant Kumar made a statement denying rape in the case on October 1.

 

Hamza Malik, president of AMU’s Resident Doctors’ Association said the final opinion was based on the FSL report and denies intercourse, not rape.

Examination delayed

“The forensic examination was conducted on September 22, eight days after the incident. In cases of rape, according to government guidelines, the forensic samples should be collected within 72 hours of the incident. Sperms can’t survive after more than 90 hours,” he said.

He said if the observations in medico-legal case (MLC) report are read with certain findings in the autopsy report in the light of the new anti-rape law passed after the Nirbhaya’s case, the picture would be different. “Besides, how could you discount her statement before the magistrate which would be treated as the dying declaration of the victim and is crucial in such cases. In sensitive cases, nobody should reach a conclusion on half-truths.”

The referral slip of the Hathras hospital prepared on September 14 said as the girl was in a serious condition, so, no MLC was done before referring her to the JNMCH.

The victim was allegedly brutally assaulted on September 14 by four upper-caste men when she went to collect fodder with her mother in the field. After a long struggle in JNMCH, she was moved to the Safdarjung Hospital where she passed away on September 29. The family had initially named only one accused, Sandeep, who was arrested under Section 307 and relevant sections of the SC/ST Act on September 19.

The charges of gangrape were added on September 22 when the girl recorded her statement under Section 164 of Crpc.

Initial findings

The report counters the MLC report prepared at the JNMCH on September 22 which noted “complete penetration” and “loss of consciousness at the time of the incident” got leaked. In the opinion column of the MLC, the doctor noted, “on the basis of the local examination, I am of the opinion that there are signs of use of force, however, opinion regarding penetrative intercourse is reserved pending availability of FSL reports.”

Sources in the Aligarh hospital said as the girl was unconscious because of a fracture in C6 vertebrae, nobody thought of the physical examination of the victim’s private parts. “We do it when either the police or the family members complain of sexual assault. In this case, maybe because of social pressures, the family members didn’t say anything to this effect where she was admitted,” the source said. He further claimed that the JNMCH had referred her to the AIIMS but somehow the police ended up taking her to the Safdarjung hospital.

While the Hathras administration claims that the victim’s family had been changing statements and that the mother and the brother only complained of assault on September 14, family members said the mother had remained silent to protect the honour of the girl.

Meanwhile, members of the SIT set up by the U.P, government visited AMU on Sunday and met the team of doctors who treated the girl during her stay in the hospital. “It is a sensitive medico-legal case and we are cooperating with the investigative agencies. The reports have not been leaked from our end,” said Shafey Kidwai, a university spokesperson.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 5:38:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/hathras-case-forensic-report-confirms-physical-assault-on-victim/article32764938.ece

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