The prospects for a resolution in the case of alleged sexual assault and murder of three minor sisters in Bhandara, which had rocked Parliament, just went up.
Forty-three days later, with the investigations finally being handed over to the CBI, the state government has only acknowledged the shoddy probe by the local police. MiD DAY, in a series of investigative reports, had highlighted the concerns over the manner in which the autopsies were conducted by non-forensic doctors and after a delay of 17 hours, which led to destruction of vital evidence.
Yesterday, leader of opposition Eknath Khadse, Devendra Phadanvis, Nana Patole, Ashish Jaiswal and other legislators raised these very issues in the house. Photographs taken soon after the bodies were fished out did not show external signs of decomposition when they were brought to Bhandara General Hospital on February 16.
Had the acting civil surgeon kept the corpses in cold storage, decomposition could have been prevented ahead of post-mortem. Otherwise, he could have either sent the bodies to Government Medical College, Nagpur, or sought expert forensic advice before allowing for the autopsy to be conducted by the local doctors.
Had the government accepted the demand of the local villagersto hand over the case to CBI sooner, the agency would have had greater chances of gathering crucial evidences. A second autopsy could have been done. But a lapse of 43 days means only skeletal remains of the sisters will now be found.
CBI will have to employ its best brains to ensure that the mystery involving the bodies of three sisters in Bhandara doesn’t remain open-ended like the Aarushi-Hemraj case.