7-year-old suffocates in politician’s car, police rule out foul play


Nagpur : Police Commissioner Pravin Dixit Thursday ruled out any foul play in the death of a seven-year-old girl whose body was found in the family vehicle of state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nitin Gadkari here the previous day.

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“We have already received the medical and post-mortem reports of the victim Yogita Thakre which does not mention any sexual assault on the victim,” he told IANS.

However, in order to be doubly certain, the police have sought a sample of the girl’s vaginal swab which will be sent Thursday evening for a chemical analysis.

“After we get the report, we shall be able to confirm whether or not she was raped,” Dixit said.

Describing the incident of death of Yogita in his family vehicle as “unfortunate”, Nitin Gadkari dismissed reports that she was murdered or raped.

“The police post-mortem report and the medical report have already been received and they have ruled out any sexual assault on the victim,” Gadkari told IANS from Mumbai.

“Two days ago (Tuesday) the girl was playing and entered the cabin of our Fiat Linea car, parked just 10 feet away from the police sentry’s cabin. The door got locked after the child-lock got activated and she suffocated to death, as per the police report,” Gadkari said.

He admitted that usually the vehicle is kept locked, but Tuesday evening, when the incident occurred, the driver forgot to lock the car.

The police have also found marks on her body pointing to a struggle as the girl could have panicked while attempting to open the doors on both sides of the rear passenger seat, but failed, Gadkari said.

When asked about the ‘rape’ allegations, he said it was unlikely since the vehicle was parked very close to the police cabin and nearby is his ancestral building where more than 20 other families reside.

The Gadkaris occupy the top floor of the building and only his two sons were at home when the body was discovered by driver Manohar Phanse. Gadkari was on a flight to Nagpur at that time and wife Kanchan was in Ramtek. He went to Mumbai Thursday morning.

Gadkari said the girl, studying in third standard in a nearby school, was a heart patient and was admitted to a Nagpur hospital for treatment of damaged heart valves.