Body of pregnant woman who alleged gangrape recovered from Narmada

The Vadodara district police on Saturday recovered the body of a 19-year-old woman from Banaj village in Dabhoi taluka, who allegedly jumped into the Narmada canal near Kurali village on Friday, while she was visiting her village for a police investigation into her complaint of an alleged gangrape that occurred in January this year.

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Police, however, said in a statement on Saturday that the technical, medical and scientific evidence gathered so far “did not support the complaint of gangrape”.

The deceased woman, who worked as a domestic helper in Mumbai, had filed a zero FIR alleging gangrape at Charkop police station in Mumbai after discovering that she was pregnant, police said.

The zero FIR was then transferred to Dabhoi police station, where the incident is said to have occurred as per the complaint of the victim.

On Friday, the woman went missing while on a visit to her village to assist a police probe into her complaint, police said.

On Saturday, her body was recovered from Narmada canal and a separate case of accidental death was registered at Karjan police station.

Deputy Superintendent of Police, Dabhoi division, Kalpesh Solanki, told The Sunday Express that the woman was in Mumbai since January 2020.

“The woman had visited her village in January 2022, according to her complaint, when she was gangraped by two unidentified men, including an auto-rickshaw driver. In her zero FIR filed at Charkop police station in Mumbai, the woman has said that the rickshaw driver and an accomplice had abducted her while she had hired the auto for travel on January 9,” Solanki said.

“Following the crime, she returned to Mumbai and continued to work there but soon she discovered that she was pregnant… She was 12-week pregnant when she decided to approach Charkop police station to file a zero FIR. The FIR was transferred to Dabhoi police station on March 24, where we registered the formal complaint,” he added.

The police, in a release on Saturday evening, however, said that the investigation into the alleged gangrape brought up “contradictory evidence”, indicating that the woman had been “in a consensual relationship with a man from her community and become pregnant by him. After analysing her call record, WhatsApp, text messages, it has come to light that she was in a relationship with a man based in Anand, who she had befriended on social media about two years ago.”

“In January, during her visit to the village, the two got into a physical relationship and she returned to Mumbai, where she later discovered her pregnancy. The man suggested she inform her family about their relationship but she was scared about her family learning about the pregnancy…” it further said.

The police said that the two had consummated their relationship at the same location mentioned in her FIR as the place of the alleged gangrape and the same had been confirmed through technical surveillance of the mobile phones of both the woman and her friend.