- Color photograph – 100% of body surface area with two snaps each of every injury with a scale and identity tag included.
- An X–ray of the whole body is to be taken for evidence of any bony injury or foreign bodies.
- Look for any deep bruises and/or injection sites and confirm them technically.
- Collect blood, hair samples, nail clippings.
- Note down all the injuries in great detail with special attention to the genitals, natural orifices, scars, keloids, scalp, teeth etc. and the marks of identification.
- As regards injuries – although virtually any type of injury can be inflicted, the following types of injuries may confirm or arouse the suspicion of torture:
- It is the most common form of torture.
- It can take any form depending on – the weapon used and the body part injured
- The weapon used may be fist, foot, whip, lathis, metal/wooden bars, batons, rifle buts, belts, lengths of plastic hose pipe or tubing, cat–o–nine tails.
- Methods of torture: Repeated beating over the back, buttocks, thighs, front of the chest, breasts, abdomen, lower legs, soles of the feet and even perineum and genitals.
- Evidence of torture: Imprint injuries like
- Single/double edged linear bruises
- Tram like bruises
- Buckles/belts imprints
- Repeated criss–crossing overlapping injuries having generally similar orientations
- Bruising on deep dissection of soles
- In old lesions
- Hyperpigmentation along the lines of injury
- Cause of death: Beating is not often the sole cause of death unless:
- Severe and repeated
- Associated with hemorrhage, sepsis, injured internal organs
- From sheer exhaustion and pain
Thee methods used are
- Hot iron applied to the skin
- Numerous burns from cigarettes pressed into the skin.
- Although not common in India, the following means of torture from burns are also reported.
Necklace: Burns from molten rubber dripped onto victims from motor tiers suspended overhead. Cause of death: Burns may be the actual cause of death.
Cutting or stabbing or shooting
Not a common means of torture in India but a means of execution or non–fatal punishment.
Knee capping: Shot in the knee joints/lower thighs
Clubbing or blunt injury
This is the most common form of injury. The features are however, not specific.
Suffocation and drowning
This is not common. Non–fatal practices of this kind are well known: Submarining: For instance repeated dipping of the victim&srsquo;s head under water/foul liquid such as sewage. Enveloping the head in an opaque plastic bag.
This is less common in India: The means used are the mains voltage of 110 or 240 volts or a magneto delivering high voltage. The preferred sites are the penis and scrotum in males and nipples in females. However, it could be anywhere.
Injuries to the ears
Telephono: Repeated slapping of the sides of the head by the open palms. As a result, rupture of the tympanic membrane usually occurs.
This is a common method.
- Usually upside down or by means of the wrists
- Ligature marks will be seen at suspension sites
Common in females, usually in the form of rape
Also look for
Cyanosis, petechial hemorrhages, tympanic membranes, laryngeal cartilage and external genitalia during external examination.