Rape, murder of 13-yr-old domestic help: Assam cop, 3 doctors held for cover up
The body of a 13-year-old girl was found hanging at the house of Sashatra Seema Bal (SSB) jawan, where she was working as a domestic help, in Assam’s Darrang district on June 11.
Three doctors of a government hospital and a senior police officer have been arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Assam police for allegedly covering up the rape cum murder of a 13-year-old domestic help five months ago, officials said on Tuesday.
According to police, on June 11, the body of a 13-year-old girl was found hanging at the house of Sashatra Seema Bal (SSB) jawan Krishna Kamal Baruah, where she was working as a domestic help, in Assam’s Darrang district. The victim, who belonged to the tea-tribe community, was allegedly raped and murdered by the SSB jawan. The accused police official and the doctors allegedly tried to make it appear as a case of suicide by taking money from the accused.
The accused additional superintendent of police (ASP) Rupam Phukan and three doctors of the Mangaldoi civil hospital in Darrang district, Ajanta Bordoloi, Anupam Sharma and Arun Deka were arrested late on Monday. Police had earlier arrested a police sub-inspector Utpal Bora and a SSB jawan Baruah in connection with the case.
The case got a fresh lease in August after chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma visited the victim’s family and assured action. Following that, Darrang superintendent of police (SP), Rajmohan Roy, additional SP, Rupam Phukan and in-charge of Dhula police station, Utpal Bora, were placed under suspension and the case was handed to CID.
“The investigation revealed that there are several commissions and omissions committed by these doctors while conducting the first postmortem over the dead body. They have clearly written that there are no injuries except the ligature mark,” said a press note issued by CID on Tuesday.
The note issued by CID superintendent of police, Pranabjyoti Goswami added that the doctors didn’t mention injury marks on the skull and neck which were found in the second postmortem conducted at Guwahati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) after exhuming the body with court permission.
The second postmortem concluded that the injuries are ante mortem and caused by a blunt force impact.
A panel of forensic medicine experts from GMCH, AIIMS-Guwahati and Northeastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS-Shillong) constituted by the government concluded that the injuries were due to a blunt weapon and the death was due to homicidal strangulation and not suicide.
CID said that even after the forensic report was shared with them, the three doctors maintained that there was no sexual attack on the victim and the death was due to suicide by hanging. No video was made of the first postmortem and the procedures of autopsy not followed, CID said.
“The doctors have clearly conspired to cause disappearance of the evidence with an intention to screen the offender and also to frame an incorrect record (the first postmortem) to save the accused from punishment,” the note said.
The three doctors were interrogated thoroughly by placing all evidence on record prior to their arrests. They were produced in a special court in Mangaldoi on Tuesday, which remanded them to two days police custody for further interrogation.
Additional SP Rupam Phukan had allegedly taken ₹1.5 lakh from the family of the accused through SI Utpal Bora. He was arrested for dereliction of duty and for trying to shield the SSB jawan “who had murdered and sexually assaulted the minor girl”.
“Though the police in Dhula dismissed the death as a case of suicide, the parents of the victim alleged that she was murdered and filed an FIR the next day,” said a police officer on condition of anonymity.
The case was handed over to CID and fresh investigation was initiated after chief minister Sarma visited the victim’s family in August. The body of the girl, which was buried, was exhumed and sent for forensic examination and DNA tests.
Through a probe into the bank transactions of SI Utpal Bora, police found that he had accepted ₹5 lakh from Krishna Kamal Baruah.
Interrogation of Bora, who was arrested last week, revealed that the police SI had played an active role in making the murder appear as a suicide. He is alleged to have persuaded doctors at Mangaldoi civil hospital to falsify postmortem report and term the murder as a suicide.