Forensic lab finds cuts that challenge UP official version
A forensic laboratory has confirmed that the Hathras victim had two deep vaginal injuries, a senior home department official said on Sunday, days after several administration officials had publicly played down the possibility of the girl having been raped.
“The report from the Forensic Science Laboratory, Agra, came on Saturday evening, confirming two deep injuries in her vagina,” the official told The Telegraph on the condition of anonymity.
“These injuries are not possible without internal invasion. The report is silent on rape but the injuries suggest she was sexually assaulted.”
The official said the lab’s mandate was not to suggest whether there was rape but only to examine the girl’s organs for injuries. The state government has not yet made the report public.
“The medical report from JN Medical College, Aligarh, where she was treated before being shifted to Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital, had not mentioned this injury,” the home department official said.
“The post-mortem report (from Safdarjung Hospital) only said that her spinal cord injury was the cause of death.”
The victim had in a statement from her deathbed confirmed gang rape, police sources said. She had said she had escaped earlier attempts at sexual assault by Ravi— one of the four accused — but was overpowered by him and others this time, they added.
Although the medical college’s report and the post-mortem had neither confirmed nor denied rape, vaginal injuries or the presence of semen, senior officials had tripped over themselves to downplay the possibility of rape.
On Thursday, additional director-general of police Prashant Kumar had insisted that sperms had not been found in the victim’s vagina.
Hathras district magistrate Praveen Kumar had said on Wednesday: “There were no injuries to the private parts of the victim.”
The victim’s family, who believe the police tried to protect the accused, have alleged that the force refused to add the gang-rape charge to that of attempted murder for eight days before yielding to the pressure of public protests.
If the gang-rape charge is dropped and the accused are convicted of murder, they would in all likelihood be sentenced to life imprisonment.
But if the charge of gang rape is added to murder and brutality — the victim’s tongue was chopped off and her neck broken — the courts would be likelier to consider the crime “rarest of the rare” and hand out the death sentence, legal experts said.
On Saturday, BJP hard-liner Vinay Katiyar had said there was no evidence that the girl had been gang-raped.
“It’s wrong to say she was gang-raped. She died of spinal injuries,” Katiyar said.
The home department official said: “I don’t know on what basis these officials and politicians claimed there was no rape. They could surely have waited the three days that the forensic lab took to examine the viscera and send the report.”