Dharwad professor helped nail Delhi gang-rapists

Published: 13th September 2013 08:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th September 2013 08:20 AM   |  A+A-

Two of the five convicted in the rape and murder of a paramedical student in New Delhi on December 16, 2012 were trapped by the position of their teeth and the bite marks on the victim.

Among other evidence, dental records provided a vital match. “The dental models of two of the accused matched the bite marks on the victim’s body,” Dr Ashith Acharya, head of the department of forensic ondontology at the Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara College of Dental Sciences and Hospital at Sattur, near Dharwad, told Express.

Dr Acharya’s involvement in the investigation of the case, which had the entire nation staging protests, began in the first week of January, 2013. A team of officers from the Delhi Police came to Dharwad along with the photographs of the bite marks on the victim’s body and also dental models of the five accused. The department that Dr Acharya heads is the only one of its kind in the country.

Dr Acharya, who completed his advanced studies in Australia, is an alumnus of this institute and heads this department as professor. “I have come across hundreds of cases in the past. But I was shocked to see the photographs of bite marks on the victim’s body,’’ he said.

“The deep marks on the victim’s body indicate how badly she was attacked. Tear marks were also found on her skin. I was totally aware of the sensitivity of the case but it never came in the way of clinical investigation. I am fully satisfied that we have done the investigation to the best of our ability. We never go by emotions while dealing with such sensitive cases,” Dr Acharya added.

Explaining the process he used to ensure there were no errors, Dr Acharya said: “I cross-checked the location of the bite marks on the victim with the dental models of the five accused. The size and shape of teeth vary from one person to another. Even the tilt of the teeth will be different in each.’’

A computer-based analysis was done first.

“The photographs of the bite marks were scanned.

Then the dental models of the accused were superimposed on life-sized images of the bite marks on the computer, to avoid any mistakes. Of five bite marks, three were clear and two were not.’’

Dr Acharya said it took him five days to prepare a detailed report on the findings and the same were submitted to Delhi Police on January 7. “Based on our findings, the Delhi Police filed an additional chargesheet in court against the accused by enclosing the medical findings.”

The team’s visit was kept a closely guarded secret and the police stayed at the institute for five days till a detailed investigation was done. “The report submitted by our department has acted as corroborative evidence to establish the involvement of five accused in the heinous crime,” he said.

Dr Srinath Thakur, principal, SDM College of Dental Sciences and Hospital said he feels proud that his institution was recognised by the Delhi police to investigate into the case. Dr Veerendra Heggade, president of the SDM institutions has complimented Dr B Acharya and Dr Thakur for helping the Delhi Police convict the accused.


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