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Father prime suspect in Aarushi murder case: CBI

delhi Updated: Jan 01, 2011 02:26 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The CBI’s closure report in the Aarushi murder case submitted on Wednesday claims it was the 13-year-old’s father, Dr Rajesh Talwar, who killed her.

The report calls him the prime suspect but says it did not file a chargesheet against him “due to insufficient evidence.”

Talwar had been suspected by the local police too, while initially investigating the twin murders of Aarushi and the domestic help at her residence, Hemraj, on May 16, 2008. The case was later handed over to the CBI. Talwar was arrested on May 23 that year but released later for lack of evidence.

Aarushi’s mother Nupur reacted furiously to the CBI report. “The CBI’s allegations against my husband, Dr Rajesh Talwar, are outrageous and false, a bunch of conjectures and insinuations,” she told HT. “Why is the CBI not prosecuting my husband if they are so sure? If they can’t prove it, they should shut up.”

The closure report says all evidence was systematically destroyed. CBI sources said the report wasn’t exactly a closure of the case — the agency could prosecute Talwar if the court so desired. “Dr Talwar has not been cleared and the case can be opened anytime,” they said.

The report says all circumstantial evidence pointed only to one suspect — Rajesh Talwar. But not a single piece of forensic evidence survived as the killer cleaned up the scene of the crime.

How did the CBI arrive at the conclusion that Rajesh Talwar killed his daughter? The report explains the line of investigation that led to this conclusion.

The CBI first ruled out the possibility of an outsider having committed the murder as there was no forced entry into the house. The investigation then focused on the male domestic helps in the household. All of them — Rajkumar, Krishna and Vijay Mandal – satisfactorily explained their whereabouts at the time of the crime, ruling them out as suspects.

The investigation then examined the sequence of events of May 15, 16 and 17. Till 10pm on the night of the murders, the parents were with Aarushi, testing out a new camera they had bought. Thereafter, Rajesh was on the Internet till midnight. What happened between midnight and 6am on May 16 —the period during which Aarushi and Hemraj were murdered — remains unexplained.

At 6am, the maid, Bharati, rang the bell but Hemraj didn’t open the gate, as was his usual practice. Nupur then dropped the keys from upstairs to Bharati, who opened the gate herself. Within the two-three minutes the maid took to reach the first floor, the Talwar couple is said to have discovered Aarushi’s body; and begun screaming and howling. “Look what Hemraj has done,” Rajesh yelled at Bharati. He had not checked where Hemraj was then.

When the police arrived, one of the policemen suggested going up to the terrace — where Hemraj’s body would be discovered 24 hours later. But Rajesh ignored the suggestion. When Hemraj’s body was discovered, he refused to identify it. Dinesh Talwar, brother of Rajesh, tried to influence Dr Sunil Dohre, the doctor who conducted Aarushi’s post-mortem, says the report. The effort was to persuade Dohre not to examine whether Aarushi was sexually active or not. (Asked for her reaction, Nupur emphatically denied this.)

The vaginal swab of the victim was tampered with – making it impossible to forensically examine the possibility of sexual intercourse before her murder. The post-mortem had, however, ruled out sexual assault.

Given that everything was normal in the household until 10pm, the CBI has ruled out a premeditated murder. That left only one scenario, of Rajesh having discovered something that enraged him to the extent of killing his daughter.