Cops doubt husband claim

Police on Monday tried to pick holes in the statements of the husband of the 45-year old woman who had allegedly been gang-raped and murdered in Barasat, amid allegations that the sleuths were trying to toe the line of their political masters.

"We have interrogated the husband thrice and found some inconsistencies in his statements about why he had left home on Saturday night. He also claimed that some people had sprinkled acid on him but we are yet to be sure whether that is true. Besides, we are yet to get any clinching evidence of any sexual assault on the woman," an officer of Barasat police station said on Monday.

The complaint lodged by the couple's elder son states the woman was gang-raped near home on Saturday night after she went out looking for her husband.

"My father had, meanwhile, returned and left again in search of my mother," the son had said.

The man saw his wife being sexually assaulted by a gang near a pond in the brick kiln where the couple worked, according to the complaint. When he tried to rescue his wife, the gang allegedly threw a chemical into his eyes and forced it into his mouth as well.

The couple were taken to hospital, where the wife was declared dead and the husband was admitted. He was later shifted to RG Kar hospital.

The police cited the husband's inability to name any of the alleged attackers and say how many of them were present as instances of "inconsistencies" triggering doubts about the authenticity of his statements.

Insiders said such statements by cops ' none, however, was willing to go on record ' suggest attempts to build a case on the lines of what urban development minister Firhad Hakim had said on Sunday.

"Barasat's incident is nothing but an outcome of a domestic feud," Hakim had said, sparking protests from all sections of society which viewed the minister's statement as one more example of the tendency of the political class to give a verdict even before the probe is over.

A woman's complaint of being gang-raped in a moving car in the Park Street area in February had prompted chief minister Mamata Banerjee to dub it a "sajano ghotona (fabricated incident)" even before an inquiry could start. The police finally filed the rape charge in the case.

In the Barasat case, Metro has learnt that the cops have arrived at a preliminary conclusion in haste.

"The body was covered in mud and it could not be ascertained whether the woman had been sexually assaulted," said an official of the health department which received a post-mortem report on Monday.

"The post-mortem report ' prepared in record time by Barasat District Hospital ' was inconclusive. The findings of the forensic test are pending," said an officer.

Sources said forensic experts had found eight injury marks and several scratch marks on the body.

"The medical examinations and circumstances strongly suggest that the woman was sexually assaulted. While rape has not been established yet, there is no clinching evidence to suggest that she wasn't raped," said a police source.

As for the alleged attack on the husband, a doctor at RG Kar said: "The wounds are raw and we need more time before detailed examinations could be conducted. It seems the injuries in and around his mouth are caused by an acid."

A youth Mohammad Ishaq Ali was arrested on Sunday in connection with the case.

The CID took over the case on Monday. "It is too early to say whether the woman had been raped or not," said additional director-general of police, CID, Sivaji Ghosh.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have been able to purchase batting replacements for the loss of Michael Hussey and spin reinforcements in the form of Samuel Badree. They appear… More »

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »