THE DAUNTING process of piecing together human remains and then deciding how many people died in Nithari will be over in a few days, but proving that the victims were raped will be a formidable task, investigators and forensic experts told HT.
“Doctors at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) are expected to complete segregation and individualisation in two or three days. We will then be able to frame a report,” said Dr K.P.C. Gandhi, director of the Forensic Science Laboratory in Hyderabad.
Businessman Moninder Singh Pandher and his servant Surender Koli have been accused of kidnapping, raping and killing children in Noida’s Nithari village over a year ago.
Dr J. Gauri Shankar, director, Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), Hyderabad, said over the phone: “Evidence of sexual assault by DNA profiling requires proof of vaginal penetration that can be done by taking a vaginal swab of the victim — which is impossible in the case of the Nithari killings. In cases where the victim has been killed, the vaginal swab can be taken only until three days after death. After that, decomposition makes it impossible.”
But, Gandhi added: “We are hopeful of recovering DNA samples of the accused from the victims’ clothes recovered from the backyard of Pandher’s house.”
Central Bureau of Investigation sleuths are mindful of these challenges. A senior official said: “In this case, the bodies are badly mangled. The focus is to find forensic evidence confirming rape from the victims’ clothes.”