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UP police exhume body of key witness in Unnao rape amid family objections

The police informed the family about its decision to exhume the body and send it for post-mortem, and asked the family to “not obstruct” the legal requirements.

india Updated: Aug 26, 2018 00:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kanpur
Unaao rape,Unnao,Unnao witness
The Unnao police Saturday exhumed the body of Yunus Khan, a key witness in the alleged murder of Unnao rape victim’s father in April, amid strong opposition from Khan’s family.(HT Photo)

The Unnao police Saturday exhumed the body of Yunus Khan, a key witness in the alleged murder of Unnao rape victim’s father in April, amid strong opposition from Khan’s family.

The police informed the family about its decision to exhume the body and send it for post-mortem, and asked the family to “not obstruct” the legal requirements.

“The autopsy is important to bring out the truth; they should not obstruct the process. We have given assurance that the body will again be buried with full respect,” said Suraj Yadav, sub-divisional magistrate, Hasangunj.

A panel of doctors and a videographer was on standby at the district hospital, police said.

The police also asked ‘shahr qazi’ Maulana Nasir to speak to the family and make them understand the necessity to exhume the body.

The police approached the family with the order issued at around 2 am. SHO Makhi Javed Akhtar and CO Rai asked the family members to cooperate as the autopsy would bring out the truth.

The district administration said it was aware of the sensitivities involved, but due to the necessity, an order has been issued under provisions of the IPC to exhume the body.

Earlier, officials and Khan’s family members were locked in deliberations for hours over the issue. Throughout, the family was had refused to allow exhumation of the body.

Khan’s wife Shabeena has blamed the rape victim’s uncle of twisting facts to build his case against the accused. She has also given in writing to the authorities that the victim’s uncle tried to lure her with a promise of ~8 lakh in bribe so that she does his bidding.

She said her husband died of prolonged illness.

Many of Yunus’s family members and relatives signed a petition to the district magistrate Devesh Chandra Pandey to roll back his order to exhume the body. The petition said Khan had died of liver related ailment on August 18 but the victim’s uncle, who is a history-sheeter, used the death to build his case.

During the talks with circle officer, Safipur, Vivek Ranjan Rai, Shabeena said she and even her husband weren’t aware that he was a witness and had deposed.

The CBI, she said, never approached or informed them about the deposition.

“Exhumation of the body will hurt our sentiments and it is against our tradition. Why are the police are not understanding that he (Khan) died at home and everyone in the village attended his funeral. There is nothing fishy or suspicious,” she said.

First Published: Aug 26, 2018 00:03 IST