VADODARA: Police here on Sunday said they suspect that an 18-year-old woman, whose body was found hanging in a train coach at Valsad in Gujarat earlier this month, was gang-raped in Vadodara while she was on way back to her hostel from work.

The body of the college student, who hailed from Navsari in south Gujarat and worked with an NGO in Vadodara, was found hanging in a coach of the Gujarat Queen Express at Valsad on November 4, following which the railway police had lodged a case of accidental death.

The victim lived in a hostel in Vadodara.

Based on a diary entry by the victim in which she purportedly mentioned about being kidnapped, blindfolded and taken to an isolated place by two accused persons in an auto-rickshaw in Vadodara, an investigation has been launched to determine whether she was gang-raped, police said.

As per her diary entry, the two culprits took her to an isolated place.

They fled after they saw a bus driver approaching there.

The victim later took the driver’s help to reach out to a friend, they said.

Inspector General of Police-CID (Crime and Railways), Subhash Trivedi, told reporters that the state government has taken serious note of the incident and directed officials to investigate thoroughly to determine whether the victim was gang-raped and to nab the culprits.

Around 25 separate teams have been formed involving personnel from the Vadodara city police, Ahmedabad city crime branch, forensic science laboratory and the railway police, and nearly 450 CCTV footage have been scanned, he said.

He said the police were also examining call data records, doing electronic surveillance, and using intelligence inputs to nab the culprits, he said.

“The Vadodara city police, the railway police, the Ahmedabad city crime branch, are all working together in separate teams, and the investigation is also being conducted in other states like Karnataka,” he said.

A diary was found in her bag in which she wrote about being kidnapped and tied up by two persons and blindfolded before being taken to an isolated ground in Vadodara when she was returning to her hostel from work at the NGO, Superintendent of Police (Western Railway), Vadodara, Parikshita Rathod told PTI.

“In the diary, the woman had not clearly mentioned whether she was gang-raped or sexually assaulted. But, the way she described her abduction and being taken to an isolated place by two men after being blindfolded and tied up, it appears she might have been gang-raped,” Rathod said.

Since she had not written clearly about the offence, the police were depending heavily on her medical report, the official said.

“No FIR has been lodged yet in this connection (about rape). The postmortem report shows she committed suicide. Her viscera examination report is awaited to determine the final cause of death,” the official said.