Forensic experts say there was no rape in Bhandara case

NCW also slams autopsy that reported rape

An independent committee appointed to review the findings of the forensic science report in the Bhandara case has also concluded that there was no sexual assault on the three minor girls who were found dead inside a well on February 14. This second report, which evaluated the findings of the report from the Forensic Science Lab that said there was no rape, has also ruled out sexual assault on the three sisters and established drowning as the possible cause of death.
The girls, aged 6,9 and 11, had failed to return home from school on February 14. Their bodies were found by a villager in the unused well two days later.

The Asian Age had reported on February 27 that forensic’s indicated the three girls may not have been sexually assaulted.
A committee comprising one doctor each from KEM and JJ Hospitals in Mumbai and the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) from New Delhi was formed to re-evaluate the forensic findings.
Speaking to this newspaper, Harish Pathak, chief of KEM said, “There were no signs of strangulation or struggle. There was neither vaginal bleeding nor blood clot. Most importantly, the soil test from the girls’ slippers matched only with the area near the well and not any other place they could have possibly been. The mother also confirmed that the slippers were intact near the well and that only one of the girls was wearing footwear.”
The medical experts have come down heavily on the doctors at Bhandara Civil Hospital who carried out the autopsy. An inquiry committee of the National Commission for Women, which sent a team to the spot, also slammed the Bhandara doctors for a shoddy post-mortem.
The committee appointed by the NCW included advocates Nirmala Samant-Prabhwalkar, Vijaya Bangade and Smita Sarode Singalkar as members. The committee visited the Lakhni village of Bhandara district on February 28.
Ms Samant-Prabhwalkar from NCW said, “The doctors had used the finger method, which even the Supreme Court has termed unscientific. They should have taken a second opinion before jumping to any conclusion. We have recommended that a state-level team be constituted to re-examine all the videos of the autopsy.”
The finger method was said to have been used though the bodies had been in water for over 72 hours, and then left exposed to air after that. As a result they had begun to decay. There are now doubts that the doctors who conducted the autopsy actually did even the finger test.
The NCW has also demanded a probe into the autopsy itself, and the doctors who conducted it.
Most autopsies across India are currently carried out by doctors without specialised training in forensics. At the ground level, the police are also not trained to handle forensic evidence.
There have been no arrests in the case so far, despite a reward of1 lakh being announced for information leading to arrest. The police detained three suspects including a family member but is still clueless.

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