Closed file in Aarushi case opens new debate

  • Abhishek Sharan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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  • Updated: Jan 24, 2011 15:49 IST

In its 30-month long probe, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which filed its closure report in the Aarushi-Hemraj case, could not gather crucial direct and corroborative evidence that could have led it to the unidentified killers.

Till the end, the investigative agency failed to trace the unidentified weapons —  a knife suspected to be a khukri and a blunt, heavy object — that it believes the killer(s) had used.

“The weapons could have had the forensic trace — DNA, fingerprint or blood — of the killers, and could not be found by us. We did our best though,” said a case investigator, who requested anonymity.

Apart from failing to identify the killers, the agency also could not come up with a possible motive behind the killings.

On the intervening night of May 15-16 in 2008, unidentified person(s) killed Class 9 student Aarushi Talwar (14) and her family’s domestic help Hemraj Banjade. Their necks were slit with a knife suspected to be a khukri, their heads bludgeoned with the butt of a yet-to-be identified heavy object.

Around 6am on May 16, the next morning, Aarushi’s mother Nupur Talwar and domestic help Bharati had found the girl’s body in her bedroom, while Banjade’s body was recovered by the Noida police a day later from the building’s terrace. The police had initially declared Banjade as the prime suspect in the case. The Talwars stayed at L 32, Jalvayu Vihar building, Sector 25 in Noida.

The case was first handled by the Noida police, which is largely blamed for having completely messed up the investigation and the handling of evidence. For one full day after the murder, the police had failed to locate Banjade’s body, which was lying on the terrace of the building the Talwars stayed in. After the police discovered Banjade’s body, his relative Vishnu Sharma was blamed for the murders.

The CBI also could not make use of the 26 fingerprints gathered from the crime scene by the Noida police owing to the latter’s negligence.

Due to Noida police’s faulty techniques, 24 of the 26 fingerprints got wasted while the other two did not lead to any suspect. The CBI could not recover Banjade’s Tata Indicom mobile phone set that was touted by it to be crucial to the case. Aarushi’s N72 Nokia mobile phone was recovered 15 months after the murder but the agency found that its memory had been completely deleted and could not use the set as a clue.

The CBI also failed to retrieve DNA trace — through methods such as the Low Count Number —  of the killer(s) from one key evidence they had — a dried, bloodied handprint recovered from the terrace of the building.

The CBI had also gathered a size-eight shoeprint from the crime scene but it did not give the agency any clues. The CBI has also not identified the suspect who swapped Aarushi’s vaginal swabs at Noida’s district hospital.


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