New Delhi: With the level of the Ganga river rising, the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI today begun exhuming the bodies of the two teenagers who were allegedly gang-raped and found hanging from a tree in Badaun district of Uttar Pradesh in May this year. The agency wants to conduct fresh autopsies on the bodies.
The digging had to be stopped in a few hours; those involved in the process faced major difficulties due to the constant inflow of water.
The graves were dug up to eight feet but the bodies were still not located.
The agency is now in touch with local administration officials, who are trying to rope in a local construction company to get more advanced equipment to continue the digging.
A medical board constituted by the CBI to look into the case had earlier planned to carry out the process tomorrow. But in the wake of the rising levels of Ganga threatening to inundate the graves, the medical board decided to do so today.
CBI sources said the agency has made arrangements to conduct a fresh autopsy near the graves.
Unless there is a compelling reason to conduct an autopsy elsewhere, the medical board will undertake the process on the spot.
Sources said a board of three forensic experts had recommended that a fresh autopsy was needed before forming any opinion in the case.
The Ganga river, which flows adjacent to the grave of the minors, is rising because of heavy rains in Uttarakhand.
The need for a fresh autopsy was felt after the autopsy report of the local doctor was only suggestive of rape, without conclusively proving it.
Highly-placed sources in the agency said the first autopsy was conducted at night, which is usually against laid down procedures. An autopsy is not conducted after sunset except in cases of emergency.
The autopsy was conducted by a lady doctor who had apparently no prior experience of it, sources added.
The two teenagers, cousins aged 14 and 15, went missing from their house on the night of May 27 and their bodies were found hanging from a tree in their village the next day.
The incident had sparked nationwide outrage.