A final post-mortem examination report of Nimrita Amarta Maher Chandani — a BDS final-year student at Bibi Aseefa Dental College (BADC) who was found dead in her hostel room in Larkana in September — says that she was sexually assaulted before her death and died due to asphyxiation.
Police Surgeon Dr Qarar Ahmed Abbasi told Dawn that according to the final post-mortem report, the Larkana student was "murdered by strangulation after rape".
"The post-mortem opinion is clear but depends on [a] proper police investigation," he said.
Police Surgeon Dr Abbasi, quoting an observation in the report, said that it has to be ascertained through circumstantial evidence whether Nimrita was strangulated or hanged.
He said that the post-mortem report noted that the wound marks on the victim's neck were "narrower in width", which he said, clearly showed that that the wound wasn't caused by a dupatta; instead, it was caused by a "rope-like thing or material".
"Final post-mortem report didn’t establish [the] initial theory of suicide," Dr Abbasi said.
According to a copy of the report, dated November 6, obtained by DawnNewsTV, Women Medical Officer of the Chandka Medical College (CMC) Hospital Larkana Dr Amrita, said that the marks of the victim's neck show that her death was caused by "producing asphyxial signs", which are produced either by strangulation or hanging.
The report stated: "The constriction of the neck from outside by ligating material (narrower in width as self-explaining from ligature mark present on the neck to be compared to the recovered ligature with configuration of ligature mark-advised) has caused the death of deceased by producing asphyxial signs."
"These signs are produced either from strangulation or hanging, to be ascertained on circumstantial evidence as (corroborative) i.e. that is at the scene of crime/others by state investigating authorities," it read.
Dr Armita added: "That provisional DNA report of forensic and molecular biology laboratory LUMHS Jamshoro detected male DNA profile obtained from semen stains/sperm fractions from HVS and clothes indicates sexual act with deceased."
Dr Abbasi added that the male DNA had confirmed that she was raped. He said that a high-level forensic experts board from all over Sindh may be constituted to rectify some of the flaws in the post-mortem and crime scene investigation.
On Sept 16, Nimrita was found dead in her hostel room in mysterious circumstances. Police presumed that she had committed suicide. However, her family members, as well as Hindu community leaders, insisted that she was killed and demanded a joint investigation team (JIT) be formed to probe her death.
Nimrita's brother Dr Vishal, a medical consultant at Dow Medical College in Karachi, had told the media that the marks around her neck suggested that she had not committed suicide. He had further claimed that the marks on her neck looked like those made by cable wires, while the wounds on her arms suggested that someone was holding her down.
On Sept 17, Larkana police detained two students from the dental college attended by Nimrita. According to police sources, the two students are batchmates of the girl.
A day later, the Sindh government requested the sessions court of Larkana to hold a judicial probe into the death. Section Officer Aijaz Ali Bhatti wrote a letter to the district and sessions judge, requesting that a judicial inquiry be held in the matter. The letter also directed Larkana's deputy commissioner and SSP to "extend all possible cooperation in the [conducting] of judicial inquiry".
On Sept 22, the judge appeared reluctant to hold the judicial inquiry into the mysterious death. It was learnt that one objection on the part of the judge was that the home department had directly made the request to him [the sessions judge] whereas the SHC registrar should have issued such a directive to him.
Following this, after the Sindh High Court (SHC) granted permission, the Larkana judge was set to initiate a judicial probe into Nimrita's death.