The horrific incident of two teenaged girls found hanging from a tree at Badaun in Uttar Pradesh in May, is turning murkier, with the CBI on Tuesday 'doubting' whether the two girls were actually raped.
The CBI, which received a forensic report from the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, Hyderabad, on Monday said that rape of the girls was 'doubtful' and that the parents had "concocted the allegations, either themselves or under somebody's influence," according to The Times of India.
This development has led to speculations of honour killing of the girls and of caste discrimination against the five accused who belonged to a particular caste.
The parents had earlier failed a lie-detection test in the case, while the five accused men arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police had cleared it. Forensic experts had identified discrepancies in the statement by the parents on the sequence of events.
According to sources who spoke to TOI, the investigating agency is now exploring the possibility of caste politics by a local politician who is alleged to have influenced the victims' families to put rape charges on the five men who come from a particular caste. The men - Pappu, Awadhesh and Urvesh Yadav (brothers) and constables Chhatrapal Yadav and Sarvesh Yadav – were arrested in June on charges of rape, murder and destruction of evidence.
The forensic tests have, however, not brought out any evidence that the five were present at the scene of the crime.
The Badaun rape case had sparked international outrage, as the bodies of two cousins, aged 14 and 15, were found hanging from a tree on 27 May.
With the CBI almost giving a clean-chit to the accused, the five may soon walk out free, even as the case brings to light another major concern - that of false rape charges.
While the rape laws have been made more stringent by the Justice Verma Commision in 2012 following the Delhi gangrape incident, false accusations and botched-up investigations have made it a death trap for those wrongly accused.
A similar botch-up occurred in the Bangalore school rape case when the police initially arrested a skating instructor for allegedly raping a six-year-old girl, and then claiming that he was not involved in the incident.