CBI hits dead end, closes Aarushi double murder case
After a 30-month investigation, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) closed the sensational Aarushi Talwar double murder case without finding out who did it.
The investigating agency said it couldn’t find enough evidence to identify anyone who could have killed the class 9 student and the help in her house, Hemraj Banjade.
Both were found dead in an upscale Noida neighbourhood, with identical injuries — throats slit and heads bludgeoned by a blunt weapon. The weapons were never found.
Aarushi’s parents, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, have said that they will challenge the closure report.
The case was first handled by the Noida police, who are largely blamed for having completely messed up the investigation and the handling of evidence. In fact, for one full day after the murder, the police failed to locate Hemraj’s body, which was lying on the terrace of the Talwars’ building. He was first made a prime suspect and after he was discovered to be dead, a relative of his was blamed.
The Noida police had gathered 26 fingerprints from the crime scene but owing to their use of allegedly faulty techniques in doing so, “24 of the fingerprints had got wasted, while the two that remained did not lead to any of the suspects”, the agency’s former director Ashwani Kumar had told HT.
They also arrested Rajesh on May 23, 2008, suspecting it to be an “honour killing” and had alleged that he had seen the
victims in an “objectionable but not compromising position”.
Rajesh Talwar was granted bail by a court on July 12 the same year after the CBI admitted it had no evidence against him.
Till the end, even the CBI could not gather crucial direct evidence that could have led to the killers: the crime’s weapons the khukri and the heavy object, Banjade’s Tata Indicom mobile phone that was active for around 18 hours after the murders, and the DNA trace of the killers or the case’s known and unknown suspects. Aarushi’s N 72 Nokia phone set, which according to the agency’s then Joint Director Arun Kumar had contained clues crucial to the crime, was recovered nearly 15 months later but the CBI found its memory — text, audio and visual — deleted.
The CBI had also found a dried, bloodied handprint of one of the killers on the terrace of the building, where Banjade’s body had been dumped.
The CBI, according to Kumar, had wanted to retrieve the killer’s DNA trace from the handprint, a few clothes of suspect, a liquor bottle found in Aarushi’s room, with the help of a foreign laboratory since the country’s government laboratories did not have the required Low Count Number or touch DNA technique. But the samples were either never sent or the effort did not show any result.
The CBI also could not figure out who had swapped Aarushi’s vaginal swab at Noida’s district hospital as confirmed by Hyderabad’s Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, or link it up with the killers.