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Delhi Cantt gangrape: Dalit girl died due to suffocation during sexual assault, not electrocution, says IO reply to city court

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The Delhi Police has told the Delhi court that the nine-year-old Dalit girl who was allegedly raped and murdered by a priest and his accomplices at a crematorium near Delhi Cantonment had died due to “suffocation” during the sexual assault. This is the first time that it has come to light that the girl had died of suffocation not by electrocution as claimed by the accused earlier.  

The police cited the disclosure statement of two accused in the reply filed by the Investigating Officer. “The accused persons have disclosed that at around 6:15 pm the accused priest Radhey Shyam and Kuldeep Singh took the deceased girl from varanda to hall of Radhey Shyam (which can be corroborated by prosecution witnesses) where priest Radhey Shyam and Kuldeep Singh made her lie on the Takhat and raped her. While committing rape, accused Kuldeep held hands of the deceased and accused Radhey Shyam raped her. The accused Radhey Shyam kept his hand on the mouth of the deceased due to which she could not breathe and died of suffocation. Thereafter, accused Radhey Shyam and Kuldeep Singh took the dead body of the deceased from room of Radhey Shyam to hall with water cooler and kept her body on the bench.” She had been raped, killed and her body forcefully cremated by the accused persons. 

The Delhi Police had filed its chargesheet on 28/08/2021, against accused, 55-year-old Radhey Shyam and his three associates, Kuldeep Singh, Salim Ahmed and Laxmi Narayan. In its statement made earlier before the Delhi Court on 12/08/2021, the police stated that co-accused Ahmed and Narayan were primarily involved in destruction of evidence and facilitating the cremation. The Delhi Court on 09/09/2021 had taken cognizance on the chargesheet under sections 302/376(A)(DB)/342/466/474/506(ii)/201/34/120B Indian Penal Code, 5(g)5(m)/6 Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act  and 3(1)(s), 3(2)(v) Scheduled Caste add Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against all four accused. The Court had summoned the accused on September 29, 2021. 

The disclosures of the accused have now been corroborated by the Forensic Science Lab (FSL) and post mortem (PM) reports, which also ruled out death due to electrocution.

No evidence of electrocution: Delhi Police

The police rejected the “electrocution theory”. It said,

as per the FSL inspection report of the scene of crime conducted on the very same day, there was no electric current in the body of water cooler, with the cooler connected to the same electrical socket of Shamshan Ghat. As well the report of forensic expert, no biological fluid/DNA trace/sample was found on the body of water cooler which clearly suggests that the deceased was not electrocuted. Because In case of electrocution, DNA trace would be present on the body of water cooler.” 

It also said as per the opinion of PM report, “on the basis of autopsy findings of examined body parts, we could not find any evidence related to electrocution.” 

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The statement, filed by the IO in response to an application by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) for interim compensation for the victim’s family on account of rape, maintained that accused Shyam and Singh were seen by two witnesses as taking the victim girl from verandah of the crematorium building towards Shyam’s room where she was allegedly raped. These two witnesses, according to the IO, have also recorded their statements before the magistrate.

2.5 lakh compensation ordered by City Court (Gang Rape Case)

On September 14/09/2021, the ASJ Ashutosh Kumar has directed that an interim compensation of ₹2.5 lakh be immediately disbursed to the girl’s family. The court has noted that under the Delhi Victim Compensation Scheme 2018, maximum compensation awardable in a case of gang rape is Rs 10 lakh. Hence, the mother of the deceased victim child is entitled to be considered for interim compensation of Rs 25% of Rs 10 lakhs i.e. Rs 2,50,000/-. 

Earlier, the court granted ₹2.5 lakh as compensation for murder under the same scheme and had asked the parties to approach again for interim compensation on the account of rape as the police, at that time, had not been able to “conclusively” say that the victim was raped before the murder.

Priest Radhey Shyam addicted to Porn; Delhi Police 

The investigating agency also told the court that the search history of Shyam’s mobile revealed that he was addicted to porn content and sexually arousing material.

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“He has visited around 1,300 porn websites from June 11 to July 30. He used to show the same porn content to the deceased to arouse her. He used his smart phone only to browse porn as no call logs were found on the phone. He kept the phone secret from everyone,” the police told the court.

Background of the Case

The incident took place on August 1, 2021 in Delhi Cantt Area. According to the statement of the victim’s mother, she originally belongs to Rajasthan, but has been residing in Delhi since her childhood and at present she, along with her daughter and husband, reside in the area.

From the perusal of the PCR forms, it was revealed that the PCR van which responded to the above calls, reported back to Command Room/PCR that the mother of the deceased had told the PCR staff that her nine-year-old girl had gone to fetch water from the water cooler at the cemetery in the evening and did not return. After some time, the priest of the cemetery told her that her daughter caught the current and was electrocuted. She said she rushed to the cemetery, where the priest performed the last rites of her daughter without her permission. The girl’s mother further said that two priests of the cemetery raped and murdered her daughter and later even cremated her without their consent.

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