New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation that took over the probe into the rape and murder of a Shimla teenager nine months ago today indicated that the girl wasn't gang-raped. The five men suspected of the act against the 16-year-old girl, known as Gudiya, were far away from the scene of crime when the incident happened, the agency said.
The agency has arrested and sent to jail a 25-year old farm worker called Anil Kumar who lived about eight kilometres from Gudiya's school in Ban Kufer region. The CBI said it matched his DNA with that found at the scene of crime. Gudiya's body was found with bite marks and other injuries which indicated she had been tortured and raped before being smothered to death.
Nine police officers, including an Inspector General-rank officer, are still behind bars for the custodial death of one of the initial suspects. Today, the CBI revealed how it went about finding the accused by using advanced DNA technology of percentage and lineage matching.
"We did not find any trace of the DNA of the initial suspects at the crime scene, nor did their mobile phone records show them to be anywhere near,'' said a senior CBI officer.
The scene of crime was a heavily forested area in the five-kilometre stretch between Gudiya's home and school. On July 4 last year, she left school late due to sports day but did not reach home. Her body was found two days later, leading to angry protests in Shimla.
"We had to start afresh, without the help of the local police,'' said the CBI. The agency first tried to make a sketch by asking nearby liquor shops who bought the bottles that were found at the scene of crime.
The number of names this threw up was also added to the list of those with a criminal background in the area. Over 1000 locals were questioned and the written statements of 400 people taken.
Eventually, a list of 250 people was drawn up whose DNA samples were tested. Out of them, one seemed to show some similarity with the DNA sample found at the crime scene and this was traced to a family in Kangra.
"The forensics team used a percentage and lineage match system which was a more advanced version and could trace DNA samples taken from distant relatives,'' said the CBI officer.
The CBI team in Kangra did further testing of the entire family and found that one of its members was out on bail since September 2016. "When we tested his parents, it turned out to be a 100 per cent match,'' said the officer. The next challenge was to track the man who was on the run.
The phone numbers of his contacts were put surveillance. Apparently, he would call them from time to time but from borrowed phones. The CBI met all those whose phones were used, getting a clearer picture of the man and his movement.
Earlier this month, the man called from a town called Rohru, about 100 kilometres from Shimla. A CBI team went there and when they made inquiries, they found someone with the same description working at a local farmhouse. That's how they got the man who they claim raped and then killed the Class 10 student.
However, the CBI is still unsure about the motive of the crime. They also don't rule out the involvement of others. The CBI director will submit his affidavit very soon in the Himachal Pradesh High Court that had summoned him last month over the delay in the probe.