The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), probing the murders of Noida schoolgirl Aarushi Talwar and her family’s domestic help Hemraj Banjade, on Wednesday let off two persons who were in possession — at different times — of her mobile phone, missing since the incident.
Daily wager Ram Bhool and sweeper Kusum (his sister), were detained by the agency after Delhi Police’s Crime Branch recovered Aarushi’s Nokia N-72 phone set from the former in Bulandshahr, 60 km east of Delhi. Ram Bhool told the CBI he got it from Kusum who ‘found’ it last year near a park in Sector 40.
“We put them through lie-detector tests, there is nothing as of now to establish their link with the crime or the suspected killers who might have tried to destroy, hide or tamper the phone set,” said an agency official who requested anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media. “We will talk if we arrest somebody in the case,” said CBI spokesperson Harsh Bhal.
The mobile, along with a Tata Indicom phone set of Banjade, and the murder weapons (a khukri-like sharp knife and heavy object/weapon) were allegedly removed from the crime scene when Aarushi and Banjade were murdered on May 16 last year. “The phone set is a vital evidence since it links the killers with the crimes,” the agency official said.
The mobile recovered from Ram Bhool had contained Hindi film songs he had downloaded. The phone set, which is currently being examined by forensic experts, had its SIM card and phone memory missing when Kusum “found” it.
When HT visited Kusum’s one-room house at Sadar village, Sector 45 in Noida, she, her husband (shoe factory worker Vyas) and Ram Bhool were not at home.
“Mummy had stopped to smoke a bidi near a park at sector 40 when she saw the phone,” said daughter Sapna.
“It was nice, but had no SIM,” her younger brother Ankit (8) said. “She had no idea whose it was,” Sapna said.
“Three days later, mama (Ram Bhool) arrived and mummy gave it to him,” said Sapna. Asked if Kusum had looked for its owner, Sapna said: “No, the park’s guard was absent.”