Doctors stored samples of Shopian women in tamarind jars: CBI

This is one of the details to be presented before the Jammu and Kashmir High court by the CBI in the ongoing hearings into the death of Aasiya (17) and Neelofar (22), last May, which led to widespread protests and bandhs that paralysed the Kashmir valley for 47 days.

This information will be given in response to the queries posed to the CBI by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court which had taken suo moto cognizance of a letter by an unknown criminologist disputing the CBI's findings in the case.

Official sources said other evidence that the CBI will present before the Court to prove its case that the two women were not raped and in fact drowned, is an analysis of the water found in the lungs of the deceased women. The water contained termites which had been ingested while the women were drowning.

The probe agency, which carried out the investigation with the help of Forensic experts from AIIMS, will also inform the court that the doctors in Kashmir, who have been named as accused in the case, had stored the samples in empty jars of chewing gum and tamarind.

CBI, which will contest the so-called criminologist's letter as malafide, has also prepared a detailed medical examination of the hymen of Aasiya along with documents and microscopic slides to support its claim that she was never raped or sexually assaulted.
Life in Shopian town, 51 kms from here, had come to a standstill after the bodies of Neelofar and Aasiya were found in a stream in May last year. Protests were held claiming that the two had been allegedly raped and murdered. Four policemen including the then Superintendent of Police Javed Mattoo were arrested following directions by the High Court.

However, the CBI investigations found that the doctors in the district hospital had not conducted the port-mortem properly and had in fact fabricated evidence.
The CBI has based its finding on the opinion of experts from AIIMS, Central Forensic and Scientific Laboratory and FSL of Haryana, which said the women were never raped and had died due to drowning.

The CBI has now filed a chargesheet against six doctors -- Nighat Shaheen, G Q Sofi, Maqbool Mir, G M Paul, Bilal Ahmed Dalal and Nazia Hassan -- under Sections 167 (public servant framing an incorrect document) and section 194 (giving or fabricating evidence with intent to procure conviction of capital offence) of the Ranbir Penal Code.
The medicos were also charged with preparing false vaginal slides to suggest rape.
Five lawyers including two former public prosecutors Mushtaq Ahmed Gattoo and Sheikh Mubarak have also been charged with conspiring and intimidating witnesses to make false submissions before a magistrate about women's cries being heard from a police van.

Three lawyers, Abdul Majid Dar, Mohammed Yusuf Bhat and Altaf Ahmed, have also been charged with wrongful confinement and criminal conspiracy.

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