The preliminary post-mortem examination reports of the two teenage sisters, whose bodies were found hanging from a tree in Lakhimpur Kheri, have confirmed that their death was caused by strangulation. Ligature marks were found all around their neck and their thyroid cartilage was broken, the reports said.
The autopsy reports, a copy of which is with The New Indian, pointed out that the girls, aged 15 and 17 respectively, died “due to asphyxia as a result of ante-mortem strangulation”.
The autopsy report of the 15-year-old girl mentioned: “Ligature mark 28X1 cm present all around neck over thyroid cartilage. Mark is 6 cm below chin, 6cm below right ear and 6cm below left ear.”
It further said: “Trachea found congested and thyroid cartilage found broken. Mark is grooved, Ecchymosis…hard leathery.”
The post-mortem report of the 17-year-old girl said: “Ligature mark 29 X 2 cm present all around neck over thyroid cartilage. Mark is 7 cm below chin, 7 cm below right ear and 7 cm below left ear.”
It added: “Mark is grooved. Trachea found congested and thyroid cartilage found broken. Abrasion 0.5 X 0.2 cm over back of left midarm; abrasion of 0.5 X 0.2 cm over back of right midarm. Abraded contusion 1 X 0.5 cm over right side of face and 1 cm below right eyelid lower.”
The post-mortem reports said: “No mark of ante mortem injury found on genital area. However, their vaginal swabs have been preserved for further examination.”
The autopsies were conducted by a panel of three government doctors – Dr Shoaib Akhtar, Dr Rakendea Kumar and Dr Archana Kumar. The entire post-mortem examination was videographed on the orders of the district magistrate.
Police sources said the accused have confessed that two of them – Junaid and Suhail – had raped the sisters at a sugarcane field and then strangled them to death. It is suspected that both were strangled with the ‘dupatta’ which they were wearing.
Police said the accused have revealed that the girls insisted the accused to marry them and that’s why they killed them and hanged their bodies from the tree so that it may look like death by suicide.
Lakhimpur Kheri SP Sanjeev Suman said the revelations were made on the basis of prima facie evidence and statements of the accused. “We still have to verify certain things and corroborate the sequence of events.”
Police have arrested six persons, identified as Chotu, Junaid, Suhail, Kamruddin, Arif, and Hafiz, in connection with the incident.
Police have registered a case under Section 302 (murder), 323 (assault), 452 (house trespass), 376 (rape) of the IPC and POCSO 3 and POCSO 4 Act at Nighasan Police Station.
As per the girls’ mother, four of the accused had abducted her daughters from the house and took them to a sugarcane field. The police, however, later said that the girls were known to three of the accused and the mother had not objected when her daughters went with them. The accused raped them and strangled them to death, the cops said.