Girl found dead in BJP leader’s car, family cries rape
Mystery shrouds the death of a seven-year-old girl found in Maharashtra BJP chief Nitin Gadkari’s car.india Updated: May 21, 2009 23:56 IST
Mystery shrouds the death of a seven-year-old girl found in Maharashtra BJP chief Nitin Gadkari’s car.
Two days after the discovery of the body, the post-mortem report said Yogita Thakre died of ‘smothering’ after accidentally getting locked inside Gadkari’s car, parked outside his bungalow. The police are waiting for the forensic report.
Relatives of the Class III student, however, claimed she was raped and witnesses had seen bloodstains on her thigh and scratch marks on her face. They and the locals accused the police of trying to hush up the case.
The police later said blood had indeed been found on Yogita’s inner-wear.
“But I still feel it wasn’t rape or murder,” investigating officer Ramchandra Katole said. “I have no answer for the bloodstains and scratch marks. We can arrive at a conclusion only after getting the forensic report a week later.”
“Preliminary reports do not mention sexual abuse,” he added.
Social worker Umesh Choube pointed out that the police report made no mention of the injury marks. He also said he’d visited Yogita’s home and found out that a policeman deployed in Gadkari’s house as a security guard often gave her chocolates.
Choube said Gadkari may not be at fault but the police had not bothered to conduct a panchanama of his vehicle or seized it yet. After Gadkari’s driver discovered the body, he was allowed to take the car to the airport to fetch the BJP leader, who was arriving from Mumbai. The politician’s wife was away too but his two sons were at home.
Yogita’s sister Nisha said she last saw her playing with Gadkari’s security guard. The guard was identified as Sudhakar Balbudhe. He hasn’t been interrogated so far.
Expressing anguish over the death, Gadkari said he had faith in the autopsy report and that nobody from his family was involved.
First Published: May 21, 2009 23:54 IST