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Autopsy report suggests rape, murder of Kanpur shelter home woman

The district magistrate said the government has ordered a high-level inquiry to look into the lapses in her treatment.

cities Updated: Jan 05, 2018 20:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kanpur
Rape,Murder,Homless Shelter
Doctors initially thought she died of illness, but they suggested a postmortem examination after noticing injury marks on the body.(AP File Photo/Representational)

The death of an ailing 28-year-old woman in a government-run shelter home in Kanpur on Wednesday took a criminal turn with the autopsy report suggesting rape and murder.

It was suspected earlier that the woman died of illness, but the autopsy conducted by a panel of three doctors on Thursday revealed contusions on her private parts and abrasions all over the body. The doctors sent the vaginal swab for lab test to ascertain if she was raped.

Police detained for questioning a contractor and three labourers hired to whitewash the home — at the Rajkiya Samvasini Grah in the Swaroop Nagar locality of the Uttar Pradesh city.

District magistrate Surendra Singh said the government has ordered a high-level inquiry to look into the lapses in her treatment.

The district administration, worried over the safety of 86 more people living in the home, has deployed policewomen to record their statements.

“We are investigating and questioning people related to the case,” said police superintendent (west) Gaurav Grover.

The woman was brought to Lala Lajpat Rai hospital on January 3, where doctors declared her dead. She was sick and doctors thought initially she died of illness, but they suggested a postmortem examination after noticing injury marks on the body.

The nature of injuries suggests she put up a strong fight before being raped and murdered. She was apparently smothered with a pillow. Doctors found a bunch of hair in the closed fist of the woman.

According to records, she was brought to a children’s home in February 2009 and shifted to the women’s shelter in March 2010 after she attained adulthood.

She was epileptic and was treated at JJ Hospital in Mumbai in October 2008 before she was brought to the children’s facility in Kanpur.

The home at Swaroop Nagar has had its share of controversies in the past as a woman hanged herself to death in 2014 and three inmates escaped in 2012. Two of them were arrested from the railway station.

A member of the Bal Kalyan Samiti alleged that ragging is commonplace at the shelter home. Older inmates allegedly harass newcomers — asking the rookies to massage them, wash clothes and cook meals for them.

First Published: Jan 05, 2018 20:00 IST