‘Noida cops took 26 prints, all useless’
You would expect that an agency investigating a murder case would have taken pains to collect any and all evidence available at the crime scene. You can’t expect that from the Noida Police.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which is probing the Aarushi Talwar-Hemraj Banjade murders case, has revealed that the Noida Police apparently botched up the forensic evidence against the killer/s.
When Hindustan Timesasked CBI Director Ashwani Kumar about the number of fingerprints the CBI had in the case, he said, “The Noida Police had picked up 26 fingerprints from the crime scene. Out of the 26 fingerprints, only one was gathered correctly and has been preserved.
The Noida Police had handled the investigation for nearly a fortnight before it was handed over the CBI on May 31, 2008.
A senior CBI investigator confirming this said, “the other 25 fingerprints were rendered useless since Noida Police’s investigators used incorrect forensic procedures to lift the prints from the crime scene.”
The said print was lifted from an empty bottle of Ballantine Scotch whiskey found in Aarushi’s bedroom, said Kumar.
The liquor bottle was allegedly brought into Aarushi’s room by the killer/s before they killed her and then Banjade on the building’s terrace.
Curiously, the sole fingerprint does not match those of any of the suspects in the case: A group of three including medical assistant Krishna Thadarai, domestic helps Rajkumar Sharma and Vijay Mandal. And Aarushi’s parents, dentists Rajesh and Nupur.
According to Kumar, the CBI is also looking into the involvement of a third person, an outsider.
Apart from that single fingerprint, the CBI has found a smeared bloody fingerprint at the crime scene.
Also, a bloody shoeprint of around size eight was found on the staircase. However, that clue too was a dead end since it did not match any of the suspects.
The CBI, which is yet to submit a chargesheet in the case, has still not recovered the murder weapons—a khukri and a heavy object. Banjade’s Tata Indicom mobile set—number 921 351 5485, with identification number of 20 CFA 3EC—is missing too.
Aarushi and Banjade were killed on May 16, 2008. Their heads had been bludgeoned with a heavy object and their necks sliced with a sharp weapon.