Mumbai: To resolve the confusion over the age of the first arrested accused in the Shakti Mills gang rape, the state home department has decided to conduct a bone test on him.
The first arrested accused, claimed to be a minor, allegedly raped a 23-year-old photojournalist on the Shakti Mills’ premises along with the other four accused on August 22.
While all the accused have admitted to committing the crime, the family of the accused who was the first to be arrested is claiming that he is a minor. They have even furnished his birth certificate issued by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. His school leaving certificate, too, is said to show that he is a minor, however, it’s been scribbled all over.
State home secretary Amitabh Rajan said, “All this has created confusion... We want to resolve this and, hence, we are conducting the bone test.”
“We want to make the case as watertight as possible. All possible medical tests will be conducted, wherever required.
We don’t want to leave any loopholes that will give the accused room to escape the harshest punishment,” Rajan added.
The state government has decided to bear all the expenses in the case, including medical and legal.
Sources said the five accused were taken to JJ hospital and Nagpada Police Hospital last week for conducting an array of medical tests.
“The accused were referred to the urology department for sexual potency tests and to the psychiatry department for evaluation of their mental status, at JJ hospital. Apart from this, their bone x-rays have been taken at the Nagpada hospital,” a doctor from the department of forensic medicine at JJ hospital said.
“When a baby is born, the shaft that is the middle part of bone is tissue-based and the ends are made up of cartilage.
The cartilage is converted into bony tissue as a person grows. At birth, a person has 300 bones but by the time s/he turns 20 there are only 206 in the body. Every bone matures at a specific age. We compare the bone x-rays to prescribed pro forma given in forensic textbooks to arrive at an age estimate. The estimate has a range on plus or minus six months to three years of the actual age.”
The doctor further said, “We will take additional x-rays of the accused in question, if required, and study and submit reports estimating his age if the state government approaches us to conduct the test.”
DNA/Sudhir Suryavanshi/Maitri Porecha