It was a key forensic evidence — fingerprints of the alleged mastermind on cupboards at the crime scene — that had escaped the attention of the local police during its two year probe which led the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to crack the murder case of Madhya Pradesh-based journalist Chandrika Rai, his wife and two children in February 2012.
The CBI on Thursday arrested contractor Dharneesh Rai, suspected to have orchestrated the murders. His fingerprints allegedly matched those found at the journalist’s residence at Umaria.
“We found fingerprints on the cupboards of the children’s bedroom. After Dharneesh, a local bully, came under our scanner, we compared his fingerprints with our evidence and they matched,” said a CBI source.
The fingerprints were found after the agency’s investigating team recently undertook a reconstruction of the crime scene and the Delhi-based Central Forensic Science Laboratory confirmed the match.
The evidence had allegedly escaped the attention of the local police investigators and forensic experts during their two-year old probe.
The CBI took over the probe in March 2014 from the state police that had even chargesheeted Chandrika’s driver.
However, acting on the request of the family of the deceased, the Madhya Pradesh high court had asked CBI to reinvestigate the case after staying the trial. The agency is now grilling the suspect to establish the motive behind the crimes and get information on his alleged accomplices.