With the case’s lead investigator being shifted out, the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) 21-month-old probe into the twin murders of Aarushi Talwar (13) and her family’s domestic help Hemraj Banjade (45) could suffer a setback.
The case’s investigating officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police A.G. Kaul, was recently transferred to the agency’s anti-corruption unit.
Kaul, who was part of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) tasked to crack the case, was handling the case since September last year. When contacted, CBI spokesperson Harsh Bahl offered no comment.
“The officer was putting in a lot of hard work to solve the case,” said an agency source, who did not wish to give his name as he is not authorised to talk to the media.
“The next investigating officer would obviously take time to get on with the probe, thus delaying it.”
The SIT was reconstituted last September after it lost the services of two key officers, Joint Director (JD) Arun Kumar and Superintendent of Police (SP) Vijay Kumar.
While Kumar, an Indian Police Service officer, was
repatriated to the Uttar Pradesh cadre, the SP shifted to the agency’s anti-corruption wing.
Earlier this month, the SIT’s supervisory Special Director S.C. Sinha left the CBI.
The central government on February 11 appointed Sinha as the Director General of the National Investigation Agency.
Two weeks ago, the agency had put Talwar’s parents, dentists Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, through narco-analysis tests in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar state forensic laboratory and is currently “analysing their responses”.
The earlier SIT, whose work was supervised by Kumar, had held three suspects in the double murder case: medical assistant Krishna Thadarai, domestic helps Rajkumar Sharma and Vijay Mandal.
The then SIT had reached its conclusion on the basis of narco revelations by Thadarai and Sharma, owning up to the crimes; Mandal was apparently just a 'witness'.
The re-constituted SIT, on the other hand, seems to be focusing on verifying suspected leads that needed fresh examination. Aarushi and Banjade were killed in an identical manner, their heads bludgeoned with a blunt object and necks sliced with a sharp weapon suspected to be a khukri, on May 16, 2008.
Aarushi Talwar’s body was found in her bedroom at flat number L 32, second floor, Jal Vayu Vihar, sector 25.
A day after her body was recovered, Banjade's body was recovered from the building's terrace.