Police say they have relied on disclosure statements of the accused — Radhey Shyam (55), a priest at the cremation ground where the girl went to have water, and three other employees. (File/Representational)

The Delhi police, in their evidence filed against the accused in the death of a 9-year-old Dalit girl, have stated that she died due to suffocation while being sexually assaulted.

Police say they have relied on disclosure statements of the accused — Radhey Shyam (55), a priest at the cremation ground where the girl went to have water, and three other employees, Kuldeep Singh (63), Laxmi Narain (48) and Salim Ahmed (49).

The accused have maintained that the girl died of electrocution while fetching water from a cooler. The girl’s family has alleged that the men hurriedly cremated the body after raping her.

The police submitted, “While committing rape, accused Kuldeep held the hands of the deceased and accused Radhey Shyam raped her. Radhey Shyam kept his hand on the mouth of the deceased due to which she could not breath and died of suffocation. Thereafter, accused Radhey Shyam and Kuldeep Singh took the body of the deceased (from the) room of Radhey Shyam to the hall with the water cooler and kept her body on the bench.”

Police said they were seen by two prosecution witnesses at this stage.

“All four accused persons gathered at the crematorium ground (and) with the common intention decided to cremate the body of the deceased to eliminate the evidence of rape and murder,” the police said.

Police submitted that Shyam manipulated evidence by “mentioning the time of death as 5:30 pm while the victim was seen alive in CCTV footage at 5:42 pm”.

Police also submitted that Ahmed and Narayan were primarily involved in destruction of evidence and facilitating the cremation. These two have made disclosure statements before the investigators about the role played by Shyam and Singh in the crime, police said.

Police also told the court that there was no evidence of electrocution since there was “no electric current” in the body of the water cooler.

Police stated that as per the FSL report, “no biological fluid/DNA trace/sample was found on the body of the water cooler which clearly suggests that the deceased was not electrocuted; because, in case of electrocution, DNA trace would be present on the body of the water cooler”.

The police also told the court that the search history of Shyam’s mobile revealed that he was addicted to porn.

“He has visited around 1,300 porn websites from June 11 to July 30. He used his smartphone only to browse porn as no call logs were found on the phone. He kept the phone secret from everyone,” police told the court.

The statement was filed by the IO in response to an application by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) for interim compensation for the victim’s family.

On September 14, additional sessions judge Ashutosh Kumar directed that an interim compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh be immediately disbursed to the girl’s family.

A chargesheet has been filed against the accused under sections of rape, wrongful confinement, murder, destruction of evidence, and under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act and the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Prevention of Atrocities Act.

This story first appeared on indianexpress.com