The Noida Police, which initially probed the Aarushi Talwar-Hemraj Banjade double murder case, allegedly did not hand over a crucial crime-scene evidence — used by the killer(s) to hide the male victim’s body — to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that took over the case from them.
The crime-scene evidence, a bed sheet, was used to cover an iron grill in order to block the view of Banjade’s body that was dumped on the terrace of the building, where the murders occurred on May 16, 2008, said a CBI source who didn’t wish to be named, as he was not authorised to talk to the media.
The grill divided the terrace into two halves. Though Banjade’s body was found on the terrace, investigators had found bloodstains and drag marks at the staircase leading to the terrace that suggested it had been dragged.
The Noida police had taken photograph of this missing bed sheet and collected it from the crime scene a few days after the incident, but never handed it over to the CBI. The CBI took over the probe from the Noida police on May 31, 2008.
CBI’s closure report, which contained the findings of its 30-month probe in the case and was submitted to a Ghaziabad court on December 29, listed the bed sheet as missing.
“The missing bed sheet was a crucial crime scene clue and might have contained clues to the killer(s) in terms of forensic evidence,” said the source.
Along with the bed sheet, the report cited a few other crime-scene articles, including another bed sheet used by the killer(s) to drag Banjade’s body from the staircase to the terrace, as missing. The missing evidence/clues, including the crime weapon(s), Banjade’s Tata Indicom mobile phone set, posed hurdles in the agency’s probe.
The case’s “first responders”, the Noida Police, allegedly did not handle the crime-scene evidence properly. As many as 24 fingerprints gathered from the crime scene by the police got allegedly wasted due to faulty methods employed by them, while two other found intact had not matched with any of the suspects. The closure report also cited as missing clothes of the “accused”, without elaborating any further on this.