'Woman's womb not slit during riots'

J S Kanoria during his cross-examination before special court judge Jyotsnaben Yagnik on Wednesday said he had conducted the post-mortem on three bodies, including the pregnant woman, Kausarbanu Sheikh, and had found the foetus intact in her womb.

It was in keeping with the post-mortem examination procedure that the foetus was taken out of the body. He said it was not true that the womb had been slit open.

Allegations and rumours flew thick during the riots that the then state Bajrang Dal convenor, Babu Bajrangi, had led a violent mob of activists who indulged in killing and looting of local Muslims and that they had also raped a pregnant woman, slit open her womb with a sharp-edged weapon and threw both the mother and the foetus into a fire.

Kanoria told the court that he had found Kausarbanu’s body with cent percent burns. Questioned by the public prosecutor, he did not rule out the possibility of her having been thrown alive into the fire, leading to the high degree of burns.

Kanoria’s services were specially requisitioned from Nadiad district hospital for conducting the post-mortem examinations when the doctors at the Ahmedabad government hospital could not meet the rush of bodies pouring in during the riots.

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