The final report by the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) into the death of the 19-year-old Dalit gang-rape victim in Hathras, has raised more questions than answers.
The FSL has found no “signs suggestive of intercourse,” neither traces of sperm in the samples, corroborating the claims of Uttar Pradesh police that the woman was not raped at all.
Experts, however, have raised eyebrows on the accuracy of the report, as it is based on samples collected 11 days after the alleged gang-rape.
“The samples were collected 11 days after the woman was allegedly raped, while government guidelines strictly say forensic evidence can only be found up to 96 hours after the incident. This report can’t confirm rape in this incident,” Dr Azeem Malik, the Chief Medical Officer of Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, where the victim was admitted for two weeks, told The Indian Express.
The woman was gang-raped allegedly by four Upper Caste men on September 14 while she was working in a field near her house. The woman after regaining consciousness at the Aligarh hospital on September 22 told police that she was raped. Her statement was recorded before a magistrate and relevant sections of rape were added to the FIR. The FSL received her samples on September 25.
The Uttar Pradesh police had cited the FSL report, and postmortem report of the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi (where the victim died) to stress that the woman was not raped.
“The Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report on the vaginal sample of the 19-year-old girl of Hathras has revealed that she was not raped. This is the conclusive confirmatory report after the preliminary medical report and post mortem report both have concluded that no rape was committed,” ADG (law and order) Prashant Kumar said at a press conference on Thursday (October 2).
Kumar said no semen or sperm secretion was found in the viscera sample and the woman’s post-mortem report stated that the cause of death was due to trauma caused by the assault.
The FSL report was signed by assistant professor Dr Faiz Ahmad and chairman Dr Saeed of the Department of Forensic Medicine at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College.
Incidentally, on September 22, the doctor who examined the woman had said that “on the basis of local examination, I am of the opinion that there are signs of use of force.” The doctor, however, said that FSL report would tell whether there was penetrative intercourse or not.
The postmortem report given by Safdarjung Hospital, had stated that the woman’s hymen and anal orifice bore multiple “old healed tears”.