Aarushi murder case: One probe too many
The Noida police that was initially probing the murder of Aarushi Talwar and her family’s domestic help Hemraj Banjade in Noida on May 16 last year have allegedly destroyed key forensic evidence and fingerprints in the case. Abhishek Sharan reports.delhi Updated: Sep 15, 2009 00:27 IST
The Noida police that was initially probing the murder of Aarushi Talwar and her family’s domestic help Hemraj Banjade in Noida on May 16 last year have allegedly destroyed key forensic evidence and fingerprints in the case.
It emerges that the Noida police had picked up 26 fingerprints from the crime scene, including from the bedroom where Aarushi’s blood-smeared body was found, but could preserve only two of them.
“Twenty-four of them were wasted as they were gathered through wrong methods which included a type of paper not suited for the work. Only two fingerprints, which did not match with the fingerprints of the accused later arrested by the CBI, were lifted the correct way,” said an official of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which took over the probe from the Noida police last year.
Confirming this, another CBI officer requesting anonymity, told HT, “The ruining of the fingerprints lifted from the crime scene by amateurs after the crime, along with mis-management of other forensic evidence, is hampering the probe’s progress. A lot of direct evidence were permanently lost.”
He confirmed the lack of direct material (including the weapons) and forensic evidence were the “biggest hurdles” before the CBI’s new probe team set up last Thursday under Superintendent of Police Neelabh Kishore.
One example of a goof-up by the Noida police is that it chose to dispose off the blood-smeared bed sheet, blanket and doormat found in Aarushi’s room. It also preserved only a portion of the mattress and within hours of the crime ordered cleaning up of the flat.
Also, the team came to know about the bloodstains on the staircase to the terrace the day Aarushi’s body was found, but Hemraj’s body was found on the terrace only the following day.
The CBI officer said they were also trying analyse the implications of the suspicion that “Aarushi and Hemraj had their throats slashed when they were already dead, owing to the impact of the heavy object with which they were hit on their heads”.
He said, “When a living person’s throat is cut, the blood spurts out with force, while in this case no such signs were found.”
When contacted, Aarushi’s mother Nupur Talwar said, “Our concern is just one. We want to see Aarushi’s killers hanged. We were shocked, disgusted and outraged to find TV channels doing six-hour-long discussions on my daughter's vaginal swab.” She said, “None should disrespect my daughter just because she is not there to defend. I request the media to show sensitivity while reporting this case.”
CBI spokesperson Harsh Bhal said, “We usually don't comment upon an ongoing probe.”