Tuesday’s autopsy report ruled out sexual assault and murder while confirming that “choking by hanging” was the cause of death for a 14-year-old girl who was found hanging from a fan in a home, where she worked as a housemaid, in Ludhiana. on Monday.
The incident sparked an angry protest by the girl’s family members and others, mostly immigrants, who claimed that she had been raped and murdered and demanded the arrest of her employer. The protest outside the employer’s home was still going on at the time of reporting with family members saying that they would not claim the body from Ludhiana Civil Hospital “until a copy of the autopsy report is handed over to us” and “the perpetrators have not been arrested”. .
The Board of Physicians, including Dr. Sharan Kamal, a district forensic expert, Dr. Harpreet Singh, Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. Suginder Kaur, Senior Pathologist, performed an autopsy at the Civil Hospital.
“The cause of death has appeared as asphyxia due to hanging. There is no evidence of new sexual assault. We have taken swab samples of semen and DNA from the males to check if any such sexual assault has occurred in the past few days. Dr. Kamal, head of the council, said.” Visceral samples were collected for chemical examination.
The autopsy also found at least 50 severed marks, including three new ones, on the deceased’s left arm. This indicates that she tried to harm herself before. This usually happens when you have a mental breakdown and there are suicidal tendencies,” said one of the senior doctors.
The girl’s family hails from Unnao in Uttar Pradesh and is currently living in Ludhiana.
Earlier, a drama occurred during the autopsy where the girl’s family members said they would not allow it. The family agreed after consulting doctors. However, after an autopsy, they refused to claim the body and said they would not cremate the body until “the perpetrators are not caught”. The girl’s parents and other immigrants continued to protest against the Bharat Nagar Chowk and claimed that the Punjab police were trying to pass the case as a “suicide”. They also tried to block traffic.
On Monday, the man, in whose house the girl was working, reported her “suicide” to the police in the evening, sparking protests by her family and others who gathered in numbers demanding immediate entry to the house. The police had to use force to repel the demonstrators, who threw stones at cars and ambulances who came to collect the body for autopsy.
ACP (Civil Lines) Harish Behl said a FIR murder report was registered against the homeowner based on the complaint of the girl’s father. He added that a disarmament, demobilization and reintegration lawsuit was filed against the protesters as well.
According to the FIR, the girl’s father, a rickshaw driver, told police that the victim was the eldest of his five children. She used to work from morning till evening at Sharma residence for 7,500 rupees a month. According to his statement, on Monday he received a call from Sharma around 4:30 pm stating that the girl had hanged herself from a ceiling fan using a dupatta. The father said that when they got there, another domestic helper, Bimla, told them she found the girl hanging around 1 p.m. He further claimed that even when Sharma learned of the girl’s death around 1pm, he informed them at 4.30pm.
According to the FIR, the father also said that about a week ago, the homeowner “harassed” the girl because she stayed the night at his house. “His wife is still sick, he said our daughter should stay one night in their house. I told our daughter the next day that Sharma molested her. We decided to make her leave the job. However, she went back to work after the house owner called her citing his wife’s health In his testimony, the father said, “He killed her and then hung her body to appear as a suicide bomber.”
ACB Bihl said that when police arrived at the scene, the body was found hanging from a ceiling fan. “The autopsy has been completed and the investigation is ongoing,” the ACP said.
Meanwhile, additional force continues to be deployed in sensitive areas and immigrant colonies to arrest stone-throwing protests.