19-year-old girl, whose body was found hanging in a train coach in Gujarat’s Valsad earlier this month, was suspected to be gang-raped in Vadodara while she was on her way back to the hostel from work, police said on Saturday.
The railway police filed a case of accidental death after the body of the victim, a college student, was found hanging in a coach of the Gujarat Queen Express on November 4. She hailed from Navsari in south Gujarat and worked with an NGO in Vadodara.
According to the victim’s diary entry, she purportedly wrote about being abducted, blindfolded and taken to an isolated area by two accused persons in an auto-rickshaw in Vadodara. Based on the information, a probe was initiated to investigate whether the student was sexually assaulted, police stated.
The two culprits fled after they saw a bus driver approaching the isolated area. Later, the victim took assistance from the driver to reach out to a friend, police added.The Gujarat government has taken serious cognisance of the incident and officials have been directed to nab the accused and thoroughly probe whether the victim was gang-raped, Inspector General of Police-CID (Crime and Railways) Subhash Trivedi told reporters.
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He added that nearly 450 CCTV footage have been examined and around 25 separate teams have been formed involving personnel from the Vadodara city police, Ahmedabad city crime branch, forensic science laboratory and the railway police.
Trivedi stated that police were also scanning call data records, doing electronic surveillance and using intelligence inputs to catch the culprits.
“The Vadodara city police, the railway police, the Ahmedabad city crime branch, are all working together in separate teams, and the investigation is also being conducted in other states like Karnataka,” he said.
A diary was found in her bag in which she wrote about being kidnapped and tied up by two persons and blindfolded before being taken to an isolated ground in Vadodara when she was returning to her hostel from work at the NGO, Superintendent of Police (Western Railway), Vadodara, Parikshita Rathod told PTI.
“In the diary, the woman had not clearly mentioned whether she was gang-raped or sexually assaulted. But, the way she described her abduction and being taken to an isolated place by two men after being blindfolded and tied up, it appears she might have been gang-raped,” Rathod said.
The official added the police were waiting for the victim’s medical report as she did not mention the offence clearly.
“No FIR has been lodged yet in this connection (about rape). The postmortem report shows she committed suicide. Her viscera examination report is awaited to determine the final cause of death,” Rathod further said.
(With inputs from PTI)