The Kerala police has come under a lot of flak after the First Additional Sessions Judge’s court in Palakkad district acquitted four men who were accused of raping two minor sisters. Though the police had concluded that both the sisters, aged 9 and 13, had killed themselves, doubts have been raised time and again on whether it was a case of suicide or homicide.
Two documents accessed by TNM show that the police has committed grave offences and botched up the case from the very beginning.
A written statement dated January 14, 2017 by Dr Priyatha P, then Assistant Surgeon at the Department of Forensic Science in the Palakkad District Hospital, a day after the elder sister died clearly shows that the doctor had indicated the possibility of sexual assault.
The statement in Malayalam reads, “I have noticed an infection around the anus. It could be due to piles or there could have been penetration earlier. To understand the reasons, I have sent the samples for chemical analysis.” In this report, the doctor noted that she was sending the swabs for chemical analysis.
“മൃതദേഹത്തിൽ മലദ്വാരത്തിനു ചുറ്റും ഇൻഫെക്ഷൻ ആയിട്ടുള്ളതായി കണ്ടിരുന്നു. ആയത് പൈൽസ് എന്ന രോഗത്തിൻറെ ആരംഭാവസ്ഥയിലോ, നേരത്തെ penetration നടന്നിട്ടുണ്ടെകിലോ ഉണ്ടാകാവുന്നത്,”- Dr Priyatha P, January 14, 2017.
This is not all. At a later stage, when the chemical examination reports showed negative for traces of semen, the doctor gave a written statement that this was not enough to rule out the possibility of sexual intercourse/ per vaginally rectally.
The statement in English that TNM has accessed states, “Vaginal and rectal swabs along with viscera were preserved for chemical analysis and the reports were negative for semen/spermatozoa. A negative chemical report does not categorically rule out the possibility of sexual intercourse/ per vaginally rectally.”
Not once, but twice the doctor stated that the child could have been sexually assaulted. It is baffling then that the police did not take the case seriously or investigate it further.
“The police are now saying there was political interference. Even if that had happened at one stage, what stopped them from investigating it further? The forensic doctor had clearly stated many times what her findings were. It is frustrating that despite this, the police made no effort to investigate the case when the elder sister died,” a forensic doctor told TNM.