Dalit minor may have been gang-raped, proof emerges day before judgment

Rape
The coach had repeatedly molested the teenager on the train to Kolkata first and then at their place of stay for at least four days. Representational image: iStock

In a sensational turn of events, a day ahead of the judgment on the rape and murder of the six-year-old Dalit girl in Coimbatore, Forensic Examination Report accessed by The Federal has revealed that police disregarded crucial evidence about the involvement of another person in the crime.

The Federal – which had seen the preliminary autopsy report – had reported on March 30 about the possibility of gang rape. However, cops made only a single arrest in the case.

The Forensic Examination Report, which was submitted before the Mahila Court in Coimbatore on November 1, had presented DNA sample to prove the presence of seminal stains of another person besides the alleged accused. Despite the evidence presented by doctors to prove that the crime was gang rape, police struck to the theory that the victim would have been subjected to sexual harassment over a period of time.

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The forensic report read, “From the DNA typing results of the above samples, it is found that the seminal smear… Uterus smear (of the victim girl) did not belong to that of Santhosh Kumar.” In another set of samples, the analysis concluded that besides Santhosh Kumar (the accused), seminal smear pointed towards the involvement of another male.

With just a day ahead of the judgment on the rape and murder of the six-year-old Dalit girl in Coimbatore, it was found that despite the forensic examination report confirming the role of another one person in the rape of the girl, police had completely disregarded it.

Interestingly, it was found that based on the police chargesheet, Kumar’s trial began on October 16, while the forensic report was signed on October 30 and submitted before the court on November 1.

“Even before the Forensic Examination Report was submitted before the court, the charge sheet and the case trial had started. The investigation seemed totally botched,” said an official from the Mahila Court on condition of anonymity.

Also read | Police seek info on accused in Dalit minor’s rape, murder

With just hours left for the judgment, the minor girl’s mother, who learnt about the forensic report, has filed a plea before the court seeking further investigation. However, according to sources, pleas may be heard at the time of pronouncing the judgment on Friday (December 27).

The six-year-old girl was allegedly raped and killed near Pannimadai in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore. The accused was arrested just days after the incident by police from the Thudiyalur All Women Police Station.

Legal experts are of the opinion that, if there is an involvement of another person in the crime, the case would turn into gang rape, where charges slapped against Kumar will be changed. They added that this will lead to a major change in the charge sheet. However, Public Prosecutor Sankar Narayanan refused to comment when contacted.

Unanswered questions

The case has turned murky that neither the Public Prosecutor nor police came forward to file a petition before the court seeking for further investigation into the matter after the forensic report was filed. Superintendent of Police Sujit Kumar refused to comment on why they did not initiate further investigation to find the other man involved in the case. However, Sujit said that police will decide on the course of action depending on the court’s directive.

The six-year-old girl, who went missing on March 25, was found dead, limbs tied, in a lane adjacent to her house in Pannimadai village of Coimbatore district the next day. The investigators had found injuries on the face and bleed marks on the lips.

The autopsy report said the bleed marks were caused due to extraneous bite. The autopsy report said there was grievous hurt to the girl’s anus and uterus due to violent penetrative sex. “There were about 10 sexual assault injuries, apart from the five bite marks on the lips, the tongue and other parts of the body. There were also scratch injuries on the face and the private parts,” an investigator privy to the autopsy report told The Federal.

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