New Delhi: Few cases have ever witnessed the kind of mass hysteria generated by the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case from the moment it broke on the front pages of newspapers on a hot summer morning in May 2008. Almost four years later, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar will appear before a trial court on 4 February in Uttar Pradesh, after the Supreme Court earlier this month refused to quash the lower court’s order to put the couple on trial for the two murders.
In 2008, on the intervening night of 15 - 16 May, between 12 midnight and 1 am, 14-year-old Aarushi Talwar and 45-year-old Nepali domestic help Hemraj were brutally murdered in the apartment of the dentist couple in Noida. And since, the case has seen as many twists as the investigating officers who have handled it – first the Uttar Pradesh Police, then a CBI team headed by Arun Kumar, followed by a second CBI team who infamously submitted a Closure Report in December 2010. (Read more).
Consider the series of ‘suspects’. First, there was Hemraj (suspected of killing Aarushi until his body was found on the terrace the next day). Next it was Rajesh Talwar, and third, the three servants who were known to the Talwars and Hemraj: Krishna Thadarai (Rajesh’s compounder), Raj Kumar (domestic help of the neighbours) and Vijay Mandal (who also worked in the neighborhood). Finally, now, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar.
Then consider the series of ‘murder weapons’ . First it was a Khukri. Then it was a combination of weapons – a surgical instrument plus a blunt object, and finally a golf stick has been identified as the weapon that inflicted the death blows. And there is the ‘sequence of murder’ series. The initial claim was that Hemraj was murdered in Aarushi’s room in a fit of rage by Rajesh and then dragged and dumped on the terrace. But then the CBI in its closure report tells the court, “There is no evidence to prove that Hemraj was killed in the room of Aarushi.”
The CBI is now back to its first theory. A report published earlier this month in the Times of India, quotes the CBI as saying “Dr Rajesh Talwar started hitting with the golf club with the intention to kill Hemraj. The first blow landed on the back side of the head of Hemraj since that side was top most. On getting hit once or twice, Hemraj collapsed and fell down. Shifting of the position of the head of Hemraj resulted in the blows of golf club landing on the forehead of Aarushi. This resulted in frontal injuries to Aarushi.”
Firstpost examines one of the many contradictions in the CBI’s investigation of the Aarushi-Hemraj case, based entirely on the CBI’s own reports, and applications submitted to the special CBI court during the course of the investigation. In this story, we examine the CBI’s dismissal of a crucial piece of physical evidence; one that confirms the presence of the blood of one of the victims on the pillow covers of one of the earlier suspects in the case.
Closure Report: “No outsiders were involved”
On 13 June 2008, barely two weeks after the CBI took over the investigation of the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case from the Uttar Pradesh police, Krishna Thadarai - Rajesh’s compounder who assisted him in his dental clinic – was arrested and subsequently remanded in CBI police custody. Ten days later, on June 23, the CBI moved an application in the special CBI court in Ghaziabad for an extension of Krishna’s custody in which it makes quite a compelling case for not releasing him.
“..during the investigation accused Krishna Thadarai was subjected to polygraph test in the Central Forensic Science Laboratory, New Delhi, repeated polygraph, brain mapping and narco analysis test in the Forensic Science Laboratory, Bangalore, and Psychological Assessment Test by the experts from forensic medicine to verify the veracity of his statement. "Some of the reports have been received which establish that the accused Krishna Thadarai is not truthful in his answers relating to his involvement in the commission of the murder of Aarushi and Hemraj. That accused though admitted to his involvement in the crime along with others is not cooperating in the investigation and misleading the investigating officers with regard to the recovery of various articles related with the crime, which are essentially required to be recovered....That the investigation is continuing and the facts revealed by the accused are being verified and in the interest of justice and on-going investigation, further sustained custodial interrogation of accused is essentially required for recovery of weapon of offence, blood stained cloths, mobile phones of victims....It is a blind murder case and investigation is going on scientific lines, hence further extension of police remand of accused Krishna Thadarai is necessary.”
About a month later - on 27 July - Krishna is still in custody and the CBI dismisses Krishna’s complaint that he is being wrongfully detained and subjected to scientific tests without his consent. Describing Krishna’s complaint as “false, frivolous, baseless and concocted to create a false alibi to deflect the blame from himself during the trial before the court”, the CBI in its reply tells the court that “the accused is very much concerned with the household of Dr Talwar, being his employer, and frequently visited his house including the day when Aarushi and Hemraj were murdered.” (emphasis added)
The CBI further tells the court that “the accused is actively involved in the commission of the crime as established by the scientific tests conducted on him” and that he was arrested “only after getting sufficient material against him of his involvement in the conspiracy and murder of Aarushi and Hemraj”. Cut to December 2010. While admitting in its closure report that “Krishna and Raj Kumar were Nepalis known to Hemraj and had access to the home of Dr Rajesh Talwar”, the CBI says it has “conclusively established that the servants could not have committed the crime...” Contradicting its earlier observation of Krishna’s familiarity with the Talwar household, the CBI argues that “servants would not have had the guts to assemble in the house of Dr Talwar when both the doctors were present in the house.”
‘Except the narco test, which is not reliable’ there is no evidence against the servants according to the CBI. It is worth mentioning here, in Rajesh and Nupur’s case, that the CBI did not even find evidence in the narco test. So much so, it admitted that one of shortcomings in the evidence, was that “scientific tests on Dr Rajesh Talwar and Dr Nupur Talwar have not conclusively indicated their involvement in the crime.” The real shocker, however, is the CBI’s dismissal of a crucial piece of physical evidence; one that confirms the presence of the blood of one of the victims on the pillow covers of one of the earlier suspects.
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