The first autopsy found no sign of rape on the body of Sohagi Jahan Tonu and also failed to ascertain the cause of her death.
“The doctor who conducted the first autopsy didn't find any sign of rape. She also didn't mention any specific cause of Tonu's death in the report,” said Kamoda Prosad Saha, head of the forensic medicine department at Comilla Medical College.
“In forensic medicine term, it is called 'negative autopsy'. Around 2-5 percent of autopsies cannot ascertain the cause of deaths,” he told The Daily Star.
However, Superintended Shah Abid Hossain of Comilla police on March 30 said considering the circumstantial evidence and symptoms found on Tonu's body, it seemed she was raped before being killed.
The second-year history student of Comilla Victoria Govt College was found dead in Comilla Cantonment area on the night of March 20.
Dr Sharmin Sultan conducted the first autopsy on March 21 and submitted the report to the forensic medicine department yesterday afternoon.
The autopsy report was prepared on the basis of viscera reports and other medical test reports received from the Chittagong laboratory of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the medical college.
The report will be handed over to the CID, the investigating agency of the case.
A second autopsy was conducted on March 30, two days after a Comilla court ordered the fresh autopsy following the investigator's appeal.
A three-member medical board, led by Dr Saha, was formed for the second post-mortem. The autopsy report will be prepared based on the results of fresh medical tests, said Saha.
Talking to The Daily Star, Nazmul Karim Khan, special superintended of CID (Comilla and Noakhali), said they were probing the murder keeping in mind all probable motives.
“It's not a normal death, but a murder. For us, it's not a big issue whether the victim was raped or not,” he added.
He, however, suspected the evidence of rape might have been destroyed.
Prof Habibuzzaman Chowdhury, former head of the forensic medicine department at Dhaka Medical College, said it was very rare that a second autopsy would determine the cause of the death.
The rate of “negative autopsy” is higher in Bangladesh compared to other countries in the world. This is because bodies decompose quickly here, autopsies are delayed, evidence damaged, and inquest reports by law enforcement agencies contain insufficient information, he pointed out.
Kotwali police and detectives in Comilla probed the murder before the CID was tasked with the job. Investigators have so far quizzed several people, including the victim's parents, in connection with the murder.
Bangladesh Chhatra Union (BCU) observed a daylong students' strike at schools and colleges across the country yesterday.
Speaking at a press conference at Madhur Canteen of Dhaka University, BCU President Lucky Akter said the strike was observed at around 400 educational institutions.
She announced that the BCU will stage a demonstration on the DU campus on April 10, demanding immediate arrest of Tonu's killer(s).
The student body's district units on Thursday will submit memorandums to the home ministry through the deputy commissioners of 64 districts to press home the demand.
Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (Marxist) staged demonstrations in front of the Jatiya Press Club, demanding justice for the killing.
Bangladesh Peace Party yesterday in a statement also demanded the immediate arrest of the killer(s).
In Sherpur, students and members of socio-cultural organisations formed a human chain at the New Market intersection, protesting the murder.