Chandigarh: Who fathered 10-yr-old rape victim’s child? Police end up at the start again
Since the accused uncle is not the father of the child, who is? Was she raped by more than one person? How many, and who? Who is lying?Updated: Sep 12, 2017 21:59 IST
Was the 10-year-old rape victim who delivered a baby girl last month in Chandigarh raped by more than one man? The answer to this becomes apparent as DNA samples of her child and the accused uncle have not matched. And the case now ends up at the start again, with the cops groping in the dark after findings of the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory (CFSL) reported exclusively by HT on Tuesday.
Two months after the rape and pregnancy came to light and a month after she delivered amid mortal fears and global spotlight, police are now faced with these key questions: Since the 45-year-old maternal uncle is not the father of the child, who is? How many men were involved and who? Who is lying?
Manjit Singh, the defence lawyer provided to the accused uncle by UT’s legal aid wing, confirmed the mismatch. He expressly told HT, “The DNA of the accused and the victim’s baby do not match according to the forensic report.”
The accused uncle, who was arrested after the matter came to light on July 14, does not get a clean chit, for now, as the victim had identified him in court. And the rapist who impregnated her could also be someone close to the family, sources said. The victim is the daughter of a civic employee and a house help who lived in the servant quarters of a bungalow in a southern sector.
“Whatever test report has come is part of the investigations now. We will investigate from all angles. But I cannot share anything else at this moment,” is all that Nilambari Vijay Jagdale, senior superintendent of police, said.
Sources in the police had said the victim first told her mother that the rapist was her (the mother’s) cousin who lives two houses away in servant quarters with other relatives. It was on the mother’s statement that the FIR was registered and the arrest made, after medical examination confirmed rape. Police had claimed the uncle confessed that he had raped her seven times over a period of time when her parents used to be away for work.
The victim never talked about any other person being involved, in her interactions with the police or the counsellors engaged. Her mother again told HT on Tuesday that they did not suspect anyone else too.
Sources said the defence lawyer is likely to move an application to cross-examine the victim again now.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, it also emerged that a letter was sent by the district attorney (leading the prosecution) to the SSP on September 11 informing her about the DNA not matching. The letter mentioned that this piece of information was being shared with the SSP “in the larger interest”. Jagdale didn’t comment on it on Tuesday.
Further, the statement of head constable Harbans Singh was recorded as witness during the court hearing on Tuesday. Investigating officer (IO) Pratibha was to record her statement, but she didn’t appear and was summoned for hearing on September 15.
Police speak to victim
While the investigating officer failed to appear in the court for Tuesday’s hearing and was summoned for September 15, HT learnt that she and another policewoman visited the house of the victim around 1pm on Tuesday to talk to her. The victim’s mother and elder sister were sent out of their home and the two cops spoke to the 10-year-old alone. The mother later confirmed this.
Initially, when an HT correspondent reached the house around 2.30pm, the victim and her sister were watching TV while the parents were away for work. Half an hour later, the mother was back and told HT that she was “taken aback to know about the DNA report”. She said she had been told about the mismatch by policewomen who visited them. However, she stressed that the family did not suspect anyone else in particular.
First Published: Sep 12, 2017 21:07 IST