Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Police, post-mortem miss injury marks

Raped Girl Whipped to Death
Police, post-mortem miss injury marks
Neither the police inquest nor the post-mortem found any injury marks on Hena’s body though the entire national media quoting numerous witnesses reported she had been whipped to death following a fatwa at Chamta village of the district.
The Daily Star studied both the reports that also contradict the confessions made by the two detained local arbitrators before a court that the girl was lashed in their presence.
The findings of the inquest and the post-mortem have not only surprised the family members of the victim but also the nurses and the doctors who attended Hena during her six-day stay in hospital.
Archana, a senior nurse at the Shariatpur Sadar Hospital, described how traumatised and depressed the 15-year-old girl was when she was brought in.
“For the next three days the girl could not walk. There were marks of injuries all over her face. I tried to check her body but the family members did not allow,” she continued.
Fearing social disgrace, Hena’s relatives did not disclose the actual cause of her injuries to the doctors. They instead said she had sustained the injuries from falling.
The senior nurse added that Hena could not take food, so they had to feed her intravenously.
She then notified Dr Sultan Ahmed about the condition of the little girl.
Dr Sultan told The Daily Star after examining Hena’s body, he found that the girl was physically assaulted and referred her to the surgical department of the hospital.
Surgical department head Dr Nirmal Chandra Das said the girl “almost recovered” from her injuries when relatives insisted on her release.
“We are under no compulsion to inform the law enforcers until a patient is dead in an assault case,” said Dr Nirmal, also the residential medical officer, when asked why he had not informed the police.
On her release from the hospital on January 30, she had to be carried in lap to the car, said Chunnu Mia, Hena’s brother-in-law.
“There was a tremendous pressure from the local influential people, including the member of the union parishad, to get Hena out of the hospital. Scared, the poor family asked the doctor for her release,” said Chunnu.
Interestingly, Dr Sultan Ahmed said the little girl was in no way in a condition to be released from the hospital.
Hena’s father Darbesh Kha, a day-labourer, said he cannot describe how cruelly his daughter was tortured.
“My 15-year-old child was whipped in medieval brutality.”
Those present during the bath before burial also saw injury marks all over. Hena’s cousin Minu is one of them who saw bruises on her thigh, chest, lower abdomen and hands.
“Hena broke down in tears and told me how Mahbub gagged her and raped,” said Minu, who also accompanied her to the hospital.
The Daily Star talked to at least three witnesses to the whipping and a dozen others who saw the injury Hena suffered from whipping on January 24.
Two top forensic experts at Suhrawardi Medical College and Hospital said the external injuries might fade out in a week but it takes at least two weeks for the internal ones to disappear.
“The whipping must have severed blood vessels under the skin; there must have been signs under the skin. A proper post-mortem cannot fail to trace such injuries,” said one of the experts requesting anonymity.
Forensic experts suggested conducting another autopsy as early as possible.
The autopsy report also found every single organ of Hena’s body healthy when her family members claimed she was vomiting blood just before she died. The result of the chemical analysis of the viscera is pending.
According to eyewitnesses, Hena was whipped at least 50 times a day after she was raped allegedly by her 40-year-old cousin Mahbub followed by physical torture by Mahbub’s wife and in-laws on January 23.
The next day, Imam of local mosque Saifullah passed a fatwa ordering to whip the girl 101 times and Mahbub 200 times. He also fined Mahbub Tk 50,000.
The fatwa was given in a closed-door meeting, arranged by the family of Mahbub’s wife Shilpi in collusion with Idris Sheikh, member of Chamta union.
At one stage of the lashing, Hena collapsed on the ground, witnesses add.
Still, Idris and some others did not allow Hena’s family to take her to hospital until January 25, when her condition worsened.
Following her death, police arrested four people — Hafez Mofiz, Joynal Shikhder, Ala Box, and Shilpi. Hafez Mofiz, Joynal Shikhder made the confession before a magistrate court.
Police have yet to arrest the rest including the main culprit Mahbub, Saifullah, Idris and Monimala, who lashed Hena.
The Daily Star also found the police case inconsistent with the description of the incident by the victim’s family members. In the case, the place of occurrence has been wrongly recorded.
The deputy commissioner of Shariatpur said the matter did not come to their notice, as the victim and the perpetrators are close relatives who tried to settle it among themselves.


Via: The Daily Star

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