[Reader-list] Shopian's sordid saga

Kshmendra Kaul kshmendra2005 at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 30 17:39:31 IST 2009

".... Aasiya was a virgin"
"No hymen rupture, rectal prolapse found on teenager’s body"
SRINAGAR, Sep 30: Quoting sources associated with the process of post mortem at Shopian yesterday, Early Times had exclusively reported in today’s issue: “The team also collected vaginal parts of both the bodies in full to find whether the deceased women had been sexually assaulted before their death occurred during the night intervening May 29th and 30th. Even as the perfunctory examination of unmarried Aasiya’s hymen, according to sources, did not conclusively establish a sexual assault, members of the expert team preserved the same carefully for a subsequent microscopic analysis that would lead to the final opinion”. 

In hours of this newspaper hitting the stands and thousands of readers learning all over the world through its online edition that all from media to politics were perhaps in for a possible shock, major news agencies and television channels today carried reports to suggest that rape did not appear to have taken place on the two young women found dead in Rambiara of Shopian on May 30th this year. 

Even as the conclusive evidence would be available only after a detailed biological and microscopic analysis by the team of forensic experts of CFSL and doctors of AIIMS in a few days, discovery of 17-year-old Aasiya’s hymen having turned out to be “intact” and without any marks of violation is not only to change entire course of the investigation but also potential enough to turn a many faces red in the institutions of media and politics. Both have been approvingly reporting and asserting in absence of any scientific evidence that the married Neelafar and unmarried Aasiya had been raped and murdered. 

Even after Justice Sunil Hali’s big question on the “one-track investigation” of Jammu & Kashmir Police’s Special Investigating Team (SIT), none of the investigators had bothered to move to the characters who could have been involved in fudging of the vaginal swab, then believed to have been obtained from the dead bodies of the two women and swapped by unidentified persons. 

SIT’s only subject of investigation appeared to be identification of the agency---Army, CRPF, J&K Police---that was “responsible” and to search how many of the personnel had committed the “rape-cum-murder”. The flow of emotion was so strident that media skipped the adjective of “alleged” and Chief Minister himself has been apologizing since June for the “misleading report”--- of prima facie cause of death---he got from Police and disclosed at a news conference. One wonders what SIT was doing even after SSP Pulwama, Kifayat Hyder, had written to IGP Kashmir in his confidential letter in August that Dr Nighat Shaheen had collected the smear from a number of living patients at District Hospital of Pulwama and not from the two dead bodies at District Hospital of Shopian. 

While the country’s eminent intellectuals had, in their columns, questioned Omar Abdullah government’s order to place under suspension Dr Nighat Shaheen who publicly claimed credit for her “bold disclosure” of having confirmed the “horrible gang rape”, leaders of most of the political parties had gone to the extent of threatening strike in case the gynecologist was not reinstated with honour. Significantly, there have been no jingoistic voices after Majlis-e-Mushawarat of Shopian broke away from the Hurriyat and extended full cooperation to the fresh investigation being conducted by CBI. The victims’ family has not only cooperated with the new probe but also expressed satisfaction publicly on the way CBI had launched the exercise and conducted the exhumation and post mortem. 

Informed sources today revealed that the post mortem had, well on the spot, convinced the MMS- nominated doctor that Aasiya’s hymen was “intact” and there was not even a rectal prolpase---prima facie suggestion that the women had not been sexually assaulted. The CFSL experts have, nevertheless, reserved their final opinion and made it clear to many interested in the process that a “conclusive scientific opinion” could be framed only after a thorough biological and microscopic analysis in New Delhi. 

Sources said that during its hearing of the PIL tomorrow, CBI’s Srinagar-based assistant solicitor general Anil Bhan would appear before the Division Bench of J&K High Court, comprising Chief Justice Barin Ghosh and Mr Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir, to inform that the investigation had been taken over by the federal agency. A thin team of CBI, including an SSP and Dy SP and Jammu-based Special Public Prosecutor Mr Bhat, are also expected to be present. DB has been monitoring the investigation, first conducted by SIT and lately assigned to CBI. 


--- On Sun, 9/27/09, S. Jabbar <sonia.jabbar at gmail.com> wrote:

From: S. Jabbar <sonia.jabbar at gmail.com>
Subject: [Reader-list] Shopian's sordid saga
To: "Sarai" <reader-list at sarai.net>
Date: Sunday, September 27, 2009, 8:53 PM

Shopian case: Doc sent fictitious slides for forensic lab, CBI
Agencies Posted online: Sunday , Sep 27, 2009 at 1733 hrs

Srinagar : 

In a new twist to the alleged rape and murder of two women in Shopian, a
doctor who prepared the vaginal slides of the victims has told the CBI that
no samples from the duo had ever been taken. The doctor, who was a part of
the second postmortem team from Pulwama district hospital, was questioned by
the CBI team camping here during which she told the investigators that no
vaginal swab was ever taken of the two victims ­ Neelofar (22) and Aasiya
(17), official sources said.

The doctor broke down during the questioning and narrated the entire
sequence of events to the CBI officials, the sources said.

The sources claimed that the doctor had taken samples from gloves used in
the gynaecological ward of the district hospital and prepared a slide which
showed presence of semen.

The CBI conducted searches at the hospital late last night and seized
various pairs of gloves and records available at the hospital, they said.

While the CBI was officially tightlipped about the case, sources said the
lady doctor informed the CBI that she had done this as public pressure was

The CBI team which searched the hospital last night was accompanied by the
doctor, they said.

The exhumation of bodies was expected to be undertaken tomorrow and the
family members had also given permission for the same.
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