The medico-legal report of the Hathras gangrape complainant, prepared by the hospital in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, where she was first admitted, has shown that doctors had recorded “complete penetration of the vagina” and the use of force in their preliminary exam, The Wire reported on Sunday. Four upper caste Thakur men gangraped and tortured the 20-year-old on September 14, and she died in New Delhi on September 29.
The medical report from Aligarh’s Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College Hospital contradicts the Uttar Pradesh police’s claim that the woman was not raped, which was based on swab samples taken several days after the crime occurred.
The 54-page report also showed that the woman was strangled with her dupatta or scarf. The 20-year-old was found to have quadriparesis – a condition that causes weakness in the arms and legs. The report also showed paraplegia in her body, or “sensory loss” in her lower limbs.
The hospital’s report claimed that the woman told doctors about the rape on September 22, eight days after she was admitted there. The case was referred to the Forensic Science Laboratory in Agra the same day.
This happened because the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s protocol mandates that examining doctors “should neither refute nor confirm” whether a woman has been sexually assaulted. Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College Hospital, hence, reserved its opinion on whether the case involved rape.
“On the basis of local examination, I am of the opinion that there are signs of use of force,” Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College Hospital’s Medical Examiner Dr Faiz Ahmed said. “However, opinion regarding penetrative intercourse is reserved pending availability of FSL [Forensic Science Laboratory] reports.”
The samples for the woman’s forensic science laboratory were collected three days later on September 25. This was 11 days after the woman was first examined.
The woman’s forensic report thus said that there were no traces of sperm in the samples. Uttar Pradesh’s Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar had cited this report on Thursday to deny that the case involved rape. He had also claimed the rape allegations were fabricated by people seeking to incite caste tension, since the woman was Dalit.
Unidentified doctors told the website that medical report the police had referred to was unreliable, given the delay in collecting the samples.
“There are no chances of finding sperm, as its life cycle is hardly 2-3 days,” junior resident doctor Hamza Malik said. “If a sample is collected within 72 hours, that too with the condition that the girl has not used the bathroom to relieve herself or hasn’t taken a bath…only then it will be valid.”
Prashant Kumar, meanwhile, claimed that he had only stated what the forensic report said and denied that he was trying to absolve the accused. “I only stated a fact about the FSL report: that sperm was not found,” he told The Wire. “I insisted that the investigation is still ongoing, who are we to give a clean chit to anybody.” The official claimed that he knew about the Aligarh hospital report but he did not mention it in his press briefing.
Hathras Superintendent of Police Vikrant Vir, who was sacked along with four other officials on Saturday, had also claimed earlier this week that the report from the Aligarh hospital did not confirm rape, ANI reported. “The medical report from the Aligarh Muslim University Medical College mentions that there were injuries but it does not confirm forced sexual intercourse,” he had said. “They are waiting for a report of the forensics. As of now, doctors say that they’re not confirming rape.”
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Saturday ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry into the Hathras gangrape case amid nationwide outrage and the criticism of his government’s handling of the case.
On Friday, Adityanath suspended Hathras Superintendent of Police Vikrant Vir and four other police officers. Earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, several leaders of his Aam Aadmi Party and Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad joined hundreds of people at the Jantar Mantar in Delhi to protest against the gangrape and death of the 20-year-old Dalit woman.
On Thursday, the the Allahabad High Court took suo motu cognisance of the Hathras gangrape case and directed top government officials and the police to appear before it on October 12. The judges said that the case had shocked their conscience.
Two weeks ago, the Dalit woman was tortured and raped by four upper caste Thakur men. The woman died on Tuesday at the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi. She had suffered multiple fractures and other serious injuries when the four accused raped her in her village on September 14. The four men have been arrested.
However, the woman was hastily cremated on Wednesday midnight, without allowing her family to perform the last rites, causing further outrage across the nation.