CBI seeks to close Aarushi murder case, parents ‘broken’

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

NEW DELHI/GHAZIABAD - The CBI Wednesday sought to close Aarushi Talwar’s murder as an unsolved case, citing lack of evidence over two years since the 14-year-old was found killed in her Noida home. Her parents said they were “broken” by the move.

“The CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) has filed a closure report in the Ghaziabad court, citing lack of evidence in the murder,” a CBI officer told IANS.

Since the winter vacation is on, the court will take up the case and issue notice to the complainant when it reopens Jan 3.

Aarushi’s mother Nupur Talwar said she her daughter had been denied justice

“I had huge hopes on CBI. Now the killers walk free, not something I can bear…As Aarushi’s mother, I am completely broken,” said Nupur.

“That is the only purpose of my existence - to get justice for my child…Everyday I promise Aarushi that I will get justice to her. I promise this everyday when I talk to her,” she said.

Arushi’s father Rajesh Talwar said: “We will talk to our lawyers on what we can do. I think everybody should support us, as if any person does such a thing and walks free, then it is not worth living in this country.”

The CBI had last September reconstituted its Special Investigation Team (SIT) following reports that the vaginal swabs of the teenaged victim may have been substituted.

Since then, the Delhi Police Crime Branch recovered Aarushi’s black Nokia N72 mobile phone, a crucial piece of evidence in the case, from Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr town.

Aarushi, the daughter of dentist parents Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, was found murdered under mysterious circumstances in their Jalvayu Vihar apartment in Noida May 16, 2008. The family’s domestic help, Hemraj, whom Noida police initially suspected for the murder, was also found killed on the flat’s terrace a day later.

Rajesh Talwar was arrested and kept behind bars for 50 days in connection with the killings, but was later let off because of lack of evidence against him.

After Rajesh Talwar was let off, the CBI arrested his medical assistant Krishna and two other domestic helps in the neighbourhood, Raj Kumar and Vijay Mandal.

All of them were freed after a period of detention while the CBI continued to hunt for material evidence in the case that caused a sensation in Delhi and became the talking point across the country.

On Wednesday, the trio’s lawyer Naresh yadav asked the CBI for an apology.

“If the CBI had no evidence, why did they put the three people behind bars? CBI should apologise and say on what grounds they were kept in jail,” he said.

“This is a conspiracy. The CBI, under pressure of rich and powerful people has filed the closure report,” Yadav added.

The investigating agency in January sought the permission of a Ghaziabad court to conduct narco-analysis tests on Aarushi’s parents. They underwent the tests in an Ahmedabad forensic laboratory in February.

A forensic expert involved with the investigations said tampering with evidence in the murder case with the victim’s vaginal swabs being swapped was one of the factors leading to the CBI seeking to close the murder as an unsolved case.

“We were sent some slides which had the vaginal swab taken from the victim to check whether there has been a sexual assault and what came a shock was that the vaginal swab was not of the victim,” J. Gowrishankar, director of the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting & Diagnostics, told NDTV.

“I would say it is one of the factors. When one looks back there were several points. First there was one agency investigating the case, then it was another and the chain of custody was clearly broken and that in itself is an indication that vested interests were involved,” he said.

The Talwars’ lawyers also said the move was a failure on the CBI’s part.

“It is a huge failure of the CBI. Our faith in the agency has been misplaced now,” said Pinaki Mishra, one of the lawyers.

Rebecca John, another lawyer fighting the case, added: “There is no closure for the parents as they know that their daughter’s killer is roaming freely. The news of the closure report is devastating despite the long gruesome interrogation of her parents by the CBI.”

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