JABALPUR: A 40-year-old forensic specialist from Jabalpur, MP, who has been accused by some media outlets of being a Naxalite and living with the Hathras victim’s family “posing as a relative”, has said she never hid her identity before police and had only gone to extend financial and moral support to the family.
Dr Rajkumari Bansal, assistant professor at Subhash Chandra Bose Medical College in Jabalpur, told TOI that she was driven by her conscience to reach out to the Hathras family, and even left behind her 10-year-old son and husband for this.
She has complained to the cyber cell that her phone has been put under surveillance, and said she would take legal action against those spreading rumours about “Naxal” connections.
“I was upset and disturbed following the incident and did not want a repeat of the Unnao case, where the entire family was targeted. Seeing women reporters putting up a strong fight and voicing the family’s concern, I got the courage to go there,” Dr Bansal told TOI on Saturday.
She took a train from Jabalpur to Agra on October 3, and reached Hathras the next afternoon.
“The family was helpless. When I spoke to their advocate, I realised they did not have any documents. Being an expert in forensics, I wanted to examine the autopsy report and help the aggrieved family. I started asking relevant questions and tried to get those reports. After a point, my presence began making the authorities very uncomfortable,” said Bansal, adding: “I wanted to extend financial support to the family and gave them a cheque.”
Bansal said she had booked a return ticket to Jabalpur on October 5 but the family insisted that she stay back for two more days. She has been accused by some media channels of prompting the family to give certain statements to the media, and posing as a relative of the victim. “I always gave my correct identity, my Aadhar card details and even registered my mobile number with the policemen who took my details,” she said.
Dr Bansal said things started getting worse on October 6, and she left the house to return home. “I had to walk from the victim’s village to the main road to catch a bus. Policemen followed me and started inquiring about my activity. They took pictures of me and my documents. The SDM was also present with police,” she said.“Every time I was questioned by police and local administration, I gave my identity,” she said.
(The victim’s identity has not been revealed to protect her privacy as per Supreme court directives on cases related to sexual assault)