DNA analysis of two female students who were found dead in the hostel of Chandka Medical University in Larkana, Sindh, Pakistan, reveal that it is of the one and the same person who committed the homicide.
Dr Namrita Chandani a BDS student of Chandka College died in 2019 and Nousheen Kazmi in 2021. The bodies of the two students were found hanging from a rope in the rooms of the university hostel. The body of Dr Namrita, was found in a hostel on 16 September 2019 while the room was locked from inside. On 24 November, 2021 the body of Nousheen was found hanging from a fan in one of the rooms of the Girls Hostel No. 2 of Chandka Medical University in Larkana.
Assistant Commissioner of Larkana, Ahmed Ali Soomro said that Nousheen Kazmi’s roommate had gone out while she was alone in the room. When the roommate returned after two or three hours, the door of the room was locked from inside.
Above the writing table in the corner of this room were Nousheen’s feet, not in the air, but on the surface of the table, while the rope above was tied to the ceiling fan, which was slightly bent, and the end of the rope was snared into Nousheen’s throat.
Police also found two written notes in the room. According to a police spokesman, one was found near a notepad and the other in a closet while both had almost the same message. The note was written in Roman script, “I’m going to hang on my own (sic), not under pressure”.
An initial post-mortem report ruled that the cause of death was asphyxiation by hanging from a rope. However, the student’s father, Hidayatullah Kazmi, said his daughter could not commit suicide.
Although, there is a two year gap between the deaths of the two students, but according to the police, similarities have been found between these two cases now. The similarities between the two deaths came to light when on 28 January 2022, the forensic laboratory of Liaquat Medical University released a report. The forensic laboratory was provided with two vaginal swabs of the students, the clothes they were wearing, the clothes found in the hostel rooms and the rope used for hanging as samples by the police.
According to the report, reproductive material or semen was found in the vaginal swabs and clothes and blood stains were found on the grey salwar, black shirt found in the room. The report further states that the similarity in the DNA found in the bodies of Nousheen and Namrita was 50%.
According to the two-page report, ropes and worn clothes were delivered to the laboratory by police on 28 November 2021, four days after the incident, while clothes found at the scene were delivered on 6 December 2021. The report stated that the DNA of the semen has been preserved. The report also suggested that the blood samples of those entering or leaving the girls’ college need to be furnished for DNA testing and comparison. However, the report was alleged by many as an attempt to influence judicial investigation. When SSP Larkana Sarfraz Sheikh was informed about the progress of the investigation as per the report, he said that a judicial inquiry “has been ordered and therefore all the evidence has been preserved”. However, a statement issued by Chandka University termed the report as an attempt to influence the judicial inquiry.
At a high-level meeting of the university, the legal expert told the participants that no laboratory can compare the sample obtained for a single case with any other case without a court order, nor can any laboratory make a recommendation. According to a statement issued by the Home Department, the Sindh High Court has directed the Additional Sessions Judge to conduct an inquiry at the request of the Sindh government. The SSP and DC have been directed to cooperate in the investigation.
According to the initial post-mortem report, Namrita Chandani had scars on her neck and died of asphyxiation. Namrita’s brother Dr. Vishal Chandani had rejected the post-mortem report. He asserted that his confession had been obtained through torture.