Kathua rape: After newspaper challenges sexual assault claim, police issues statement to counter misinformation

After pulling down a report on the alleged rape of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua, one of India’s biggest Hindi dailies Dainik Jagran brought back the online version of the story that dismissed parts of the police investigation.

Kathua protests

Representational image. PTI

The piece made several claims including that there had been two post-mortem reports prepared in the probe and that the first report did not speak of any act of rape — implying that it was an addition carried out later by the Jammu and Kashmir Police's Crime Branch, Newslaundry reported.

The newspaper's editor, Kamlesh Raghuvanshi, told NewsLaundry that the report was pulled down because the reporter did not have valid records or facts to support the claims.

The report also quoted Raghuvanshi as saying that the story was first published by the print edition of the newspaper and was later picked up by the online edition. He also claimed that Dainik Jagran online edition was now in possession of the documents, which is why the story was brought back, adding that the story may be updated once the editors go through the documents.

According to BOOM, a fact-checking website, the Dainik Jagran report's main argument in support of several of its claims, including that the victim was not raped, was a second post-mortem report.

"While the first post-mortem report mentioned six injuries on the body of the child, the second post-mortem report claimed that while the hymen of the victim was found to be ruptured, it did not confirm rape," the Dainik Jagran report claimed, according to BOOM.

"When I saw the story in print, I wanted to check some of the facts which the reporter sent to me. I wanted to know that if he is mentioning the post-mortem report, does he have it or did he write the details by looking at the report? When I got the reports, I looked at them, and after being convinced of the details, we have brought back the online version of the story," Raghuvanshi was quoted as saying.

After the publication of the print story on Friday morning and the subsequent disappearance of the online version, the latter was resurrected at 6.53 pm in the evening, the report said.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police, however, has refuted the claims that Dainik Jagran made in its article. It issued a press statement on Saturday, saying the reports in a section of the media about the Kathua rape and murder case were false, and that medical experts confirmed the sedation, sexual assault and subsequent murder of the child.

"Constrained by the reports, it is to place on record that on the strength of opinion furnished by medical experts, it was confirmed that the victim was found subjected to sexual assault by the accused," the press release said.


Updated Date: Apr 22, 2018 16:08 PM

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