CBI chasing ghosts in Aarushi-Hemraj murders?

May 15th, 2009 - 2:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Aarushi Talwar By Sahil Makkar and Mayank Aggarwal
New Delhi, May 15 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is far from cracking the Noida murders of teenager Aarushi Talwar and her domestic help Hemraj, with insiders admitting there is still “no clinching evidence” against the three people it accused of the sensational crimes a year ago.

“We are still investigating the case. The CBI will further investigate the case to visit all aspects and will soon file the final report,” CBI spokesman Harsh Bhal told IANS.

A CBI source, however, admitted they do not have “clinching evidence” yet to nail the accused. “We are now banking on forensic evidence, but it is very difficult to prove charges against the accused.”

“The murder weapon and the mobile phones of the victims were crucial in the case. Had they been recovered, it would have been very helpful to pin down the murderers,” the officer said.

On May 16, 2008, Aarushi, the teenaged daughter of a prominent dentist couple, was found with her throat slit at their Noida home near Delhi. Noida Police initially suspected the family’s domestic help Hemraj to be behind the killing, but retracted the claim when they found his body on the terrace of the house the next day.

Police then arrested Aarushi’s father Rajesh Talwar, but the court granted him bail.

The CBI, which took over the investigations from Noida Police May 31, pointed the needle of suspicion towards Krishna, Talwar’s medical assistant; Raj Kumar, a domestic help with a family friend of the Talwars; and Vijay Mandal, another domestic help in the neighbourhood.

Due to lack of evidence against the three, the special CBI court in Ghaziabad granted them bail too. All the three are out on bail. According to their lawyers Krishna is in Delhi while Raj Kumar has gone to his native town in Samastipur district of Bihar. Mandal is in Nepal.

Lately, the CBI has been claiming it has gathered, “fresh material evidence” against the three. However, it has been silent over what this could be.

The investigating agency has also refused to provide a timeframe within which it will be filing its charge sheet in the case.

“As per policy, it would not be proper to discuss the details of investigation,” Bhal said in response to a detailed questionnaire sent by IANS to CBI director Ashwani Kumar.

Naresh Yadav, lawyer for Raj Kumar and Mandal, said the CBI has failed to gather any evidence against his clients.

“The CBI is trying to frame my clients. If they had any evidence against the three of them, the agency would not have wasted time in filing the chargesheet,” Yadav told IANS.

He said he would call his clients to Delhi whenever the CBI needed them here for further investigations.

F.C. Sharma, Krishna’s lawyer, said: “The CBI is chasing ghosts. They themselves don’t know who has killed Aarushi and Hemraj. The agency is shifting the blame to these innocents in order to save its credibility.”

The Talwars refused to comment on the CBI investigations.

“I don’t want to comment on the ongoing CBI investigation. We just want justice for my daughter,” Rajesh Talwar said.

With the CBI failing to nail the accused, many are wondering if the CBI too will end up botching the case like Noida Police in Uttar Pradesh.

Noida Police first named family help Hemraj as the prime suspect but a day after Aarushi’s murder, his body was discovered on the terrace of the Talwars’ house.

Police then arrested Rajesh Talwar claiming he killed his daughter in a fit of rage. Noida Police also received flak from experts for not being able to find Hemraj’s body on the first day itself.

(Sahil Makkar can be contacted at sahil.m@ians.in)

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