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CBI on hunt for last man to call Hemraj

The CBI, which is probing the Aarushi Talwar (13) and Hemraj Banjade (45) murder case, is yet to find a suspect who is believed to have spoken to Hemraj just hours before the crime took place, reports Abhishek Sharan.
By Abhishek Sharan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 25, 2010 12:40 AM IST

The CBI, which is probing the Aarushi Talwar (13) and Hemraj Banjade (45) murder case, is yet to find a suspect who is believed to have spoken to Hemraj just hours before the crime took place. Both Aarushi and Hemraj were found murdered in the Talwar’s Noida residence on May 16, 2008.

Hemraj’s mobile phone call details revealed that Hemraj had received a call lasting over six minutes on May 15, 2008. Both Aarushi and Hemraj were murdered in an identical manner—their necks had been slit with a sharp weapon, possibly a khukri, and their heads bludgeoned with a heavy object—on the intervening night of May 15 and 16, 2008.

“The caller,” said a CBI source who is part of the investigation, “had used a Public Call Office (PCO) in Sectorp 31, Noida, and could be linked to the case.” The PCO was located a kilometre from flat number L-32, Jal Vayu Vihar, Sector 25, where the murders occurred.

The Noida police, which investigated the case before the CBI took over on May 31, 2008, had detained many suspects in this connection. Among the men the Noida police had detained was a former domestic help, Vishnu Thapa, employed by Aarushi’s parents, dentists Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, before they hired Hemraj.

“The CBI should have found the caller, whose interrogation could throw light on the murders,” said lawyer Naresh Yadav, who represents Rajkumar Sharma, a suspect in the case. Sharma, a domestic help, along with two other suspects (Rajesh’s medical assistant Krishna Thadarai and domestic help Vijay Mandal) is out on bail. The CBI is scheduled to put Rajesh and Nupur through a narco-analysis test this month.

Noida police’s theory about Thapa calling Hemraj and then murdering him and Aarushi has since fallen flat.

Similarly, the CBI is yet to find a link between the crime and another conversation that Hemraj had in the evening of May 15, 2008. Hemraj had a Tata Indicom mobile phone set, number 92135 15485, identification number of 20 CFA 3EC, which was missing from the crime scene and has not yet been recovered.

Hemraj’s phone and Aarushi’s Nokia N-72 phone—missing from the crime scene before it was recovered in September last year—could be linked to the murders, according to the CBI. Aarushi’s phone, when recovered, was useless as a piece of evidence—its visual, audio and textual data had been deleted. The CBI is yet to submit its chargesheet in the case.

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