DELHI: The plot thickens

Print edition : October 19, 2012

Nupur Talwar with her husband, Rajesh Talwar, after she was released on bail on September 25.-PTI

ON September 25, Nupur Talwar, mother of the murdered teenager Aarushi Talwar, walked out of the Dasna jail in Ghaziabad after five months following a Supreme Court order granting her bail ( Frontline, February 11, 2011). The courts decision has, yet again, brought forth the many troubling questions pertaining to the investigation by the Uttar Pradesh Police and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The lack of transparency in the investigations and the inconsistent statements made by the CBI have made this sensitive case, in which Aarushis parents, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, are the prime accused, even more mysterious. Aarushi was found murdered along with the familys domestic aide Hemraj in May 2008 at the Talwars residence in Noida, and the case has generated massive media attention. The CBI closed the case in December 2010 citing lack of incriminating evidence.

The case was reopened following a court order in February 2011. But new inconsistencies in the CBI documents have come to light in the second round of trial. First, the conclusions drawn by the first and second CBI teams are drastically different. For example, the scientific tests conducted by the first team exonerated the Talwars from the charge of murder, but the second CBI team accused the Talwars of the crime anyway and did not conduct scientific tests of its own. Although the indicative tests such as narcoanalysis and lie mapping conducted by the first team on the two other accused, Krishna Thadarai (Rajesh Talwars assistant at his dental clinic) and Rajkumar (a domestic help of one of the Talwars friends), had pointed to their involvement in the crime, they were not only not subjected to the tests again but were declared innocent without further investigation, at least on record. But the Talwars, despite being cleared by the tests, were proclaimed to be the prime accused. Later, responding to a petition by Nupur Talwar, the CBI told the court that since these tests were only indicative in nature and could not be furnished as evidence, it had not produced the test results in the court.

Secondly, the CBI told the court that the murder weapon could be one of Rajesh Talwars golf clubs but could not explain how it had reached this conclusion as there were no bloodstains on the clubs. The biggest mistake in the investigation happened when a pillowcase obtained from Krishnas house was found to be stained with Hemrajs blood. It was a matter for further investigation, but the CBI did not pay any heed to this crucial fact until the Talwars pointed it out in court. The CBI then told the court that the pillowcase samples of Hemraj and Krishna had been exchanged by mistake and that the pillowcase on which Hemrajs blood was found was actually Hemrajs and not Krishnas. The Talwars have also showed the media that material additions were made to Aarushis post-mortem report after the second CBI team took over. With so many theories doing the rounds, this high-profile case is in danger of getting lost in a haze of contradictions.

Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta

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