“No rape of the girl in Kathua, postmortem report only talks of injuries” screamed the front page of the Hindi newspaper Dainik Jagran on April 20. The article claims that the post-mortem report of the Kathua incident makes no mention of rape. It states that there could be other reasons for the injuries that the victim suffered. The report goes on to explain that scratches on the thigh could be a result of a fall and the torn hymen could be a result of activities like cycling, swimming, horse riding etc. The article makes no mention of other injuries that also point to a possibility of sexual assault. The article is on the front page of Dainik Jagran editions in New Delhi, Agra, Allahabad, Amritsar, Aligarh, Kathua and Jammu among others. Nai Dunia, which is a part of the Dainik Jagran group also published this article.
Alt News accessed the post-mortem report of the Katha victim. In the report, there is mention of blood on labia, vulval lacerations, vaginal bleeding, hymen not intact and blood marks on thighs and abdomen.
A subsequent written response by the Board of Doctors of the District Hospital Kathua to the Police clearly explains that “injuries mentioned could be because of any form of sexual assault”.
Alt News contacted Dr. Jaydip Sarkar, forensic expert who works with rape victims and sex offenders and who was part of the Nithari case, and is currently based in Singapore. In a detailed conversation, Dr. Sarkar said,
“The information available based on the two post-mortem sheets suggest on balance of probability that sexual assault has taken place. Access to further medical reports, more evidence and analysis is needed to convincingly confirm a sexual assault. The injuries to the genital regions – thigh, vagina, vulva, hymen and labia (as outline in descriptions at 1,2,3 and 7 of the internal examination) – can be possibly due to three major reasons: an accident, self induced or due to an assault?
For an accident ante-mortem (before death), the injuries are far too specific to the sexual region of the body to be seriously considered as such. It is unlikely to be self-induced since the end point was death which we know is not suicide. Therefore the only option worth considering seriously is an assault. That is because the post-mortem information must be seen in the context of all other facts of the case_: abduction, enforced drugging of the victim, homicide, confessions of the accused persons and the other events in this case.
Rape was defined in a 2013 Delhi High Court judgement as the ‘insertion’ of penis which in legal parlance means – ‘to place, fit or thrust‘’ It does not have to be full insertion of the penis into the female vagina. Placing the penis in the genital region between the thighs, fitting it into the vulva/vagina and thrusting it is suffice in law to constitute a charge of rape.
The relevant injuries described in the internal examination appear to be consistent with non-consenting and forcible act in the sexual region of the victim. The injuries to the vulva in the medial (centre) and posterior (at the back), laxity of vulva (for an 8-year old) which admitted a finger, torn hymen and blood stains on vulva and thigh suggest as though attempts were made to place an external object – (a penis ?) with the use of a thrusting force.
She’s a child and not an adult, and hence even if her hymen were intact, it would not rule out rape because the hymen is very deeply placed in children. The vagina of children is also very tight and unless severe force was used to forcibly enter the penis, which would cause far greater and obvious genital injuries to what is evident, it is more likely that something a little less forceful was used.
The fact that she was sedated at the time the alleged acts were being carried out, would in normal cases reduce the amount of injuries since there is likely to be little or no resistance on the part of the victim. That there are genital-specific injuries which are quite characteristic, strongly points to attempted or completed rape. Conclusive forensic analysis would provide the ultimate fact.”
In a nutshell, Dr. Sarkar’s observations are:
1. The injuries described in the report appear to be consistent with non-consenting/forcible act in the sexual region of the victim.
2. Post-mortem information must be seen in the context of all other facts of the case (abduction, drugging of victim, homicide, confessions of accused etc.)
3. The information available based on the two post-mortem sheets suggest on balance of probability that sexual assault has taken place
The right wing handles on Twitter latched on to this Dainik Jagran report without questioning the obvious inconsistency with previous reports. They accused media and Bollywood of defaming Hindus and India worldwide. They wanted the liberals to apologize for misleading the nation.
Breaking! & this is Big
NO RAPE, Forget Gang Rape!
Both autopsy reports given by 2 diff doctors to the SIT had ruled out RAPE in the kathua murder of the little girl!
Hide ur ugly faces MEDIA & Bollymorons 4 u the d new FRINGE!
U defamed Hindus & India worldwide on wrong facts! pic.twitter.com/SnHrMshHlx
— Ritu Rathaur (सत्यसाधक) (@RituRathaur) April 20, 2018
There was No Rape in #Kathua case, says both Medical reports. she was murdered somewhere else & her body was thrown in Rasana Village. Whole conspiracy to defame Hindus is exposed. pic.twitter.com/3bMG6yDUX9
— Prashant P. Umrao (@ippatel) April 20, 2018
— ShankhNaad (@ShankhNaad) April 20, 2018
On Facebook, this report has spread like wild fire. A number of pages and groups affiliated to the BJP have posted this article, claiming vindication of their stand. The page I Support Narendra Modi which has a massive following of almost 15 million users posted it with the claim that ‘the whole conspiracy to defame Hindus is exposed’ and this post was shared over 34,000 times.
There was No Rape in #Kathua case, says both medical reports. She was murdered somewhere else & her body was thrown in…
Alt News tried to contact the editor of Dainik Jagran but he was unavailable to comment on this issue. The brutal rape and murder of the 8 year-old girl in Kathua and the subsequent support extended to the accused by members of the ruling party has rocked the nation. There has been shock and outpouring of grief from all quarters including international condemnation. It is surprising that in such a sensitive and high profile case where the facts are on record, Dainik Jagran has not only taken a contrarian position but passed conclusive judgement on the merit of the case based on an incomplete analysis of the post-mortem report.
Earlier reference to an Indian Express article has been removed.
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people start contributing towards the same. Please consider donating towards this endeavour to fight fake news and misinformation.