The 20-year-old Delhi woman who was dragged for 13 km under a car had at least 40 external injuries, the severity such that her ribs were exposed from her back as skin peeled away, her autopsy has revealed.
The base of her skull was fractured and some “brain matter was missing”, the report added. She had injuries on the head, spine and lower limbs, caused by the accident and the dragging in the early hours of January 1, when she was returning from a New Year's party on a scooter.
The cause of her death is listed as “shock and haemorrhage”, and the report says the injuries may have collectively caused the death. There is “no injury suggestive of sexual assault”. Her mother feared she'd been raped as her body, cremated on Tuesday, was unclothed when found on the roadside.
Her clothes were ripped off by the dragging as the men drove on from Sultanpuri, where they had collided with her scooter, to Jonti village near Kanjhapura, where one of the men finally spotted her hand sticking out from under the car.
All of Anjali Singh's injuries were a result of "blunt force impact", said the autopsy report. "All injuries collectively can cause death in the ordinary course of nature. However, injury to the head, spine, long bone and other injuries can cause death independently and collectively in the ordinary course of nature," the board of doctors is learnt to have reported.
The victim's leg was stuck in the front axle and - according to her friend who was with her at the time of the collision - "the driver knew she was stuck in the undercarriage".
The men stopped upon spotting her hand while taking a U-turn; the body fell, and they sped away, returning the car to a friend from whom they'd borrowed it.
They have reportedly said they panicked as they were drunk and could not hear anything due to loud music in the car.
Her friend, who was uninjured and fled the accident scene “out of fear and panic”, has claimed that there was no music playing in the car and the driver was aware that Anjali was being dragged under the wheels, but he “kept moving the vehicle back and forth”.
"Anjali was continuously screaming, but they didn't stop the vehicle. I fled the spot out of fear and did not inform anyone... I cried a lot... The vehicle dragged her in forward and backward direction twice then again they took the vehicle forward and she got entangled further," she told reporters.
She said Anjali, who worked as an event manager, and she had gone to meet some friends at a hotel where they'd had some drinks on New Year's eve. Meanwhile, Delhi Commission For Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal cautioned against “victim-shaming” and said the friend's account be verified.
Police see the friend as a key eyewitness who, along with CCTV camera footage, could help trace the sequence of events.
At the funeral on Tuesday, Anjali Singh's family and neighbours moved alongside the vehicle carrying the body and many of them carried banners saying “Anjali ko insaaf do (Give justice to Anjali)”. Many of the protesters demanded that the five men be hanged.
The men, arrested hours after the incident, are formally accused of culpable homicide not amount to murder, and other related charges.
The Union Home Ministry, to which the Delhi police report, ordered formation of a special probe team as the horrific incident took place when the capital was under a security blanket due to New Year. The men had been drinking and driving the car for hours in Delhi and the outskirts before the incident around 2 am.