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Twist in Jind rape and murder case as police say victim didn’t die of drowning

Haryana police say the 15-year-old was killed elsewhere and dumped near the canal.

india Updated: Jan 18, 2018 23:35 IST
Shiv Sunny
Shiv Sunny
Hinidustan Times, Jind
Haryana rape and murder,Jind rape and murder,Kurukshetra
The spot in Budhakhera village where the body of a 15-year-old Dalit girl was found in Jind Haryana on Thursday.(Burhaan Kinu/HT Photo)

A Haryana Police officer said on Thursday it was highly unlikely that a 15-year-old rape-murder victim was swept away in a canal near which her body was found. She might have been killed elsewhere and the body dumped on the spot, he said.

The body lay close to a muddy stretch and around eight feet away from the canal in Budha Khera in Jind, said Devinder, the man who found the body. Budha Khera is around 100km from the girl’s home in Kurukshetra’s Jhansa village.

“The hair and shirt were wet but the body was not bloated as it should have happened had it been in water for three days,” said deputy superintendent of police Sunil Kumar, who was among the first to reach the spot. The girl went missing on January 9.

Had the body been found in the canal or next to it, they could have thought it floated with the canal water, Kumar said.

“It was not stiff and it appeared she was killed within 24 hours of being found and the evidence at the spot did not show any signs of struggle,” the DSP said. “She was likely killed elsewhere and then dumped there.”

The autopsy report, seen by Hindustan Times, seems to back his claims.

It suggests the girl was killed at least 36 hours before the post mortem, which was performed on the afternoon of January 13, hours after the body was found.

SK Dhattarwal, who oversaw the post mortem, said the girl appeared to have been forcibly drowned and could have been killed close to the spot where she was found.

She was sexually assaulted by at least two persons and brutalised, the doctor added.

The girl had left home for tuitions when she went missing. At same time, her school senior, an 18-year-old, too, went missing. He was named the prime suspect but his body was found on January 16 in the Bhakra canal, around 25km from Jhansa, turning the case on its head.

An autopsy was performed on Wednesday but doctors are waiting for some test results to ascertain the cause of his death. No major injuries were found on the body, the report said.

Kurukshetra superintendent of police Abhishek Garg, however, told a news channel there was water in man’s lungs, “so the most probable cause in such cases is drowning”. But, the family says he was a good swimmer.

Multiple teams and several angles are being explored to solve the case making headlines for almost a week.

Garg said the role of people known to the teenagers was being probed and they were also trying to identify those who were last to see the teenagers together.

“Honour killing” was also a possibility they were looking at, the SP said but added for now, it was a blind case.

While the girl’s family has denied the two were in a relationship, the man’s father said otherwise. “My sister-in-law had seen the two together in a room. When she called out to them, they scaled the wall and escaped. I got to know of it when I returned home later that night,” said the father who works odd jobs.

The teachers who are now saying the entire school knew about them should have informed him, the father said.

“I would have withdrawn him from the school and alerted the girl’s parents.”

A schoolmate saw the two near a canal that flows on the outskirts of Jhansa around 5.30pm on January 9, sources said.

CCTV footage of the man riding pillion with his uncle has also emerged. “He asked me to drop him in the market, so I did. I don’t know what happened after that,” the uncle said.

First Published: Jan 18, 2018 23:18 IST