Two months after the rape and pregnancy of a 10-year-old girl came to light in Chandigarh, and three days after a DNA test indicated that the accused 45-year-old maternal uncle did not father the child of the rape survivor, the police have decided to get a retest done. Police said this was being done to weed out any chances of ‘error’ in the earlier DNA report and is part of further investigation into the case.
The court of additional district and sessions judge Poonam R Joshi ordered ‘further investigation’ after the police moved an application seeking permission for further investigation in this case. The defence counsel submitted no objection and the matter will now come up for hearing on September 22.
The girl and her family maintained their stance about her uncle, the complainant’s cousin, being the only accused in the case.
HT had exclusively highlighted that theDNA report was negative and that ‘paternity of the accused was excluded’ from this case on Tuesday.
Following this, the case has taken a new turn with the cops groping in the dark after findings of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) report.
“As the victim has named only him as the person who had raped her 6-7 times, we want to get the DNA done again,” said a senior Chandigarh police official. He clarified, “The re-test does not mean that we doubt the report but just do not want to take chances.”
The police are also exploring the possibility “of other persons sexually exploiting her.”
Sources added that since the reports of the DNA not matching were reported, police have spoken to the victim as well as the family again. They have stuck to their original stance that it was only the accused uncle who had raped her. The family has also said that they do no suspect anybody else.
Chandigarh SSP also met the victim at her house on Thursday to gather leads on other possible accused in the case. However, the girl and her family maintained their stance about her uncle, the complainant’s cousin, being the only accused in the case. The victim had even identified the accused in court when the trial began. Meanwhile, the police also plan to get the DNA tests done of the other suspects.
CWC recommends protection for victim
Based on the Child Welfare Committee’s interaction with the victim and her family, the organisation has written to the Chandigarh Police and director social welfare (DSW) recommending that she be given police protection.
The family is intimidated yet again due to media persons visiting their house. Hence, the letter was moved with their consent. Neil Roberts, chairman of the CWC, confirmed the development. However, he said they were yet to receive any confirmation or revert about the same. DSW Nishu Singhal also personally spoke to SSP Nilambari Vijay Jagdale on Friday. A senior official of the social welfare department told HT, “At the point, protection for the victim is most crucial. It is about her more than the family or parents now since everyone has become a suspect after the CFSL report.”