CBI gets Rajesh Talwar’s custody for two days (Lead)

June 3rd, 2008 - 8:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Noida/New Delhi, June 3 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was Tuesday granted two days’ custody of Rajesh Talwar, arrested for the alleged murder of his teenaged daughter Aarushi and the family’s domestic help in suburban Noida. The CBI had asked for five days’ custody, saying Talwar was not cooperating in the probe. Special judge (CBI) Sapna Mishra, however, granted the agency only two days’ custody.

In his application, CBI lawyer Sunil Batra said: “Dr. Rajesh Talwar is not cooperating in the investigation, therefore five days’ custody remand be granted so we can investigate the case fairly, in addition to recovering the weapon of murder and other articles, like mobiles phones of the deceased, on his tip off.

“One days’ custody granted by the Noida court earlier was insufficient to interrogate and recover certain articles,” Batra added.

Defence lawyer Satish Tamta opposed the CBI plea, saying: “When the Noida police and the CBI were not able to get anything substantive in their four days’ remand together, what could they achieve during further remand except to harass an innocent man?”

Talwar will now be produced in court by 5 p.m. on Thursday.

Fourteen-year-old Aarushi was found dead in her Jalvayu Vihar apartment with her throat slit May 16. The police initially named Hemraj the main accused but backtracked after his body was found on the terrace of the apartment a day later.

Police arrested Talwar May 23, accusing him of killing his daughter in a fit of rage as he objected to her closeness to Hemraj. The police had said at that time that he first killed Hemraj and then his daughter.

The case was handed over to the CBI Sunday after large-scale condemnation of the way in which the Noida police had bad-mouthed Aarushi and her father. The investating officer of the case had also been changed thrice.

After obtaining his custody, the CBI first took Talwar to his Jalvayu Vihar residence and conducted an extensive search of the premises. He was then taken to the Noida residence of Anita Durrani, a fellow dentist with whom he is said to be romantically linked.

“We visited the crime scene for further investigations,” a CBI official said.

“Yesterday (Monday) Talwar was brought to the CBI headquarters in New Delhi where he was interrogated briefly. Though we have not booked him for the murder, we need to interrogate him even more to corroborate his wife’s statements about the sequence of events (on the night of the murders),” the official added.

Meanwhile, a six member CBI team was sent to Haridwar where Aarushi’s last rites were performed. The Noida police had earlier taken Talwar to Haridwar, where the police, in his presence, questioned the priest who performed the rituals.

Police say Talwar could have dumped the murder weapon either on the way to Haridwar or after reaching there.

The CBI has hinted at the loopholes in the Noida police investigation that actually had the effect of evidence being destroyed or tampered with as the crime scene was not cordoned off and a number of people moved in and out of the Talwar’s apartment.

“The room in which Aarushi was killed was not even sealed. In fact the police allowed the family and relatives to perform prayers in the room,” the CBI official said.

So far, the CBI has interrogated five people, including Talwar, his dentist wife Nupur Talwar and Durrani.

The agency has also interrogated the Talwars’ driver Umesh Sharma. He claims to have seen Aarushi having dinner with her family in their apartment on the night of May 15. The Talwars’ maid Bharti has also been questioned.

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