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Delhi gangrape: Witness refutes claims of empty coffin

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 02, 2013
First Published: 23:39 IST(2/4/2013) | Last Updated: 23:41 IST(2/4/2013)

A prosecution witness in the December 16 gangrape case on Tuesday rubbished claims of the accused that the coffin in which the victim’s body was flown back to India from Singapore was filled with miscellaneous things.



An Air India official said, “It is wrong to suggest that instead of human remains, some other things were loaded in the box (coffin). The coffin was in a sealed condition and no one opened it in my presence.”

The official is posted at the IGI cargo terminal and the coffin with the victim’s body was unloaded on December 29, 2012 in his presence.

The official was cross-examined by the counsel of accused Mukesh and Akshay. “As per the documents, the coffin carried human remains. The weight of the box was 140 kg, a consolidated weight of the coffin and the human remains,” the witness said.

The lawyer of the accused asked why the coffin was not passed through the X-ray machine, to which the official said there was no such machine at the bay and after checking the necessary documents, the box was received by the victim’s father and the police and loaded in an ambulance.

The witness said, “After checking the documents, the coffin was handed over to the consignee, the father of the victim, who had come in the same aircraft along with the box.”

The court, however, disallowed the defence question whether he verified the identity of the girl’s father as he himself is a witness in the case.

The official in his statement said he had seen the girl’s name in the passport and had also checked the death certificate, embalming certificate and a letter from the Indian mission in Singapore.

Meanwhile, in another development, Vinay Sharma’s counsel AP Singh told the media that he was provided nutritious food inside Tihar jail following his request to the court, since he is preparing for tests for recruitment of clerks in the Indian Air Force.

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