A senior Uttar Pradesh police officer on Thursday said a forensic report has revealed that the 19-year-old Hathras woman who succumbed to her injuries at a Delhi hospital was not raped.
"The report of the FSL has come. It says clearly that samples did not contain sperm. It makes clear that there was no rape or gang rape," Additional Director Genera (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said.
Legal experts, however, debunked the theory propounded by the Uttar Pradesh Police that absence of semen from the body of Hathras victim suggested that she was not raped, saying presence of sperm cannot be an essential ingredient to prove the crime.
The ADG also claimed that the woman in her statement to police "did not mention rape but talked about 'marpeet' (beating) only".
But another officer had earlier said the section relating to rape was added to the FIR after the woman told police that she had been sexually assaulted.
Hathras SP Vikrant Vir had said the injured woman initially told police that Sandip (20) had tried to kill her.
In a later statement, the woman alleged that besides Sandip, three others--Ramu, Lavkush and Ravi--had raped her, according to the SP.
The Hathras SP, however, did not give any details on medical examination report prepared by the hospital where she was first admitted. He said it was in a sealed envelope.
Last week, Hathras ASP Prakash Kumar also told reporters that initially the accused were booked for attempt to murder under Section 307 of the IPC.
Later, on receiving more inputs, Section 376-D (gangrape) of the IPC was added to the FIR, he had said.
Senior advocates Rebecca John and Vikas Pahwa told PTI that absence of semen on the body of alleged gang rape victim as claimed by the police in the forensic report was of no consequence for the prosecution of accused persons for the offence as there was a dying declaration that cannot be discredited.
Agreeing with her, Pahwa said presence of semen was not an essential ingredient and among the essential ingredients to establish that she was gang raped were victim's oral statements and injuries on her body etc.
“Body can be washed, cleaned. It depends. It is also to be seen how much time difference was there between the offence and the medical examination. If the medical examination was conducted immediately after the rape, there would be presence of semen, otherwise won't," he said.
Citing the forensic science laboratory report on Thursday, ADG Prashant Kumar said the cause of her death is an injury on the neck and trauma resulting due to it.
He claimed some people had presented “wrong facts” to disturb the peace in the state.
"Police took immediate action in the case and now we will identify those who tried to disturb social harmony and create caste violence," the ADG added.
The officer said taking note of the matter, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had constituted a special investigation team to probe the incident.
"Those involved in the act will not be spared. But before the medical report, wrong statements pointing fingers at the government and police to malign their image were made. We will examine who are doing this. This is a serious matter. The government and police are sensitive to crime related to women," he said.
The ADG claimed that as per data, Uttar Pradesh topped in conviction in cases related to the crime against women in 2018 and 2019.
The Hathras woman was allegedly raped on September 14. After her condition deteriorated, she was referred to the Delhi's Safdarjung hospital where she died on Tuesday.
She was cremated in the early hours of Wednesday, with her family alleging the local police forced them to conduct the last rites in the dead of night.
Local police officers, however, said the cremation was carried out "as per the wishes of the family", even as the incident triggered protests in Hathras with several people coming out on roads.