There is a new twist to the horrific Badaun incident which shook the collective conscience of the nation almost three months ago. Apparently there is no evidence that the two girls, aged 14 and 16, were raped before they were found hanging from a mango tree in Badaun and the accused may also get bail soon.
After going through the report from the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) in Hyderabad, the CBI is of the opinion that the claim that the two girls were raped seems "doubtful". Sources in the CBI said on Tuesday that the agency may drop the idea of exhuming the bodies now as the report from CDFD has given them enough forensic evidence which could help them crack the case. They also said that the report confirms contradictions in the theory of rape.
The probe in this case will now reportedly be focused around the angle of honour killings. Earlier, the lie detector test conducted on the accused had come out clean, with no apparent deviation from their claim of innocence. Now, the forensic report has also cited that the DNA of the accused has not been found on the clothes of the victims, effectively making the CBI's case extremely weak. The CBI had filed an FIR against five men for their involvement in the alleged gang-rape and killing of the two cousins in Badaun. In May this year, the girls were found hanging from a tree the morning after they went missing from their home after they went out to relieve themselves in a field. The incident raised a huge hue and cry and finally five men, including two police officer were arrested. The case was projected as a matter related to caste violence. But now the entire theory may be junked in view of available evidence.
Sources said the five accused-- Pappu, Awadhesh and Urvesh Yadav (brothers) and constables Chhatrapal Yadav and Sarvesh Yadav-- will be allowed to get bail as there is no clear evidence against them. According to the law, an accused can get bail if the CBI fails to file a chargesheet against them within 90 days, which ends on August 28. Sources said the report has been sent to the three-member medical board which has been formed to look into the forensic and medical evidence related to the case.
The board has been asked by the agency to give its opinion this week after which the CBI may announce the cracking of the case. The probe will continue and the agency will first look to establish whether the victims were sexually abused and then try to locate the killers. Without revealing the findings, CBI sources said the report is a crucial evidence for the investigating team and the case may be cracked anytime now.
Incidentally, the angle of honour killing is increasingly gathering wight, something also indicated by the local police. The CBI wanted to exhume the bodies to conduct another autopsy, but they had to abandon the attempt due to heavy rains which submerged the graves. With the details still mired in controversy, it remains to be seen if the real truth behind the Badaun case will ever truly emerge.
(With PTI inputs)