Noida whodunit: Rajesh Talwar in CBI custody for a day (Roundup, combining different series)

June 2nd, 2008 - 9:52 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Noida, June 2 (IANS) A day after it took over the probe into the gory murder of teenager Aarushi and her domestic help Hemraj, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Monday got a day’s custody of her dentist father Rajesh Talwar, the alleged killer. A five-member CBI team Tuesday minutely inspected the Jal Vayu Vihar apartment of the Talwars in suburban Noida, including the terrace, for clues to the May 16 murder of Aarushi and her family’s domestic help.

The CBI team that brought along a stonecutter, chiselled out a block from the terrace wall that had the imprint of a bloodstained palm. A forensic expert inspected the terrace, the three bedrooms, the staircase and the doors of the flat.

The CBI team reached the apartment at 1 p.m. and spent three hours going over the place, collecting samples of blood and other telltale evidence.

Another team of CBI sleuths went to the home of fellow dentist Anita Durrani, said to be romantically linked with Talwar, and questioned her.

Durrani has dismissed the allegations and has termed the Talwars an “extended family”.

The CBI also interrogated the Talwars’ driver Umesh Sharma. He claims to have seen 14-year-old Aarushi having dinner with her family in their apartment on the night of May 15. Her dead body, with her throat slit, was discovered the next morning.

Also questioned was the Talwars’ maid, who police said was the first to come into the apartment on May 16 after which Aarushi’s body was discovered.

Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowdhury, meanwhile, continued her tirade against three Uttar Pradesh police officers who have made slanderous remarks against the victim, saying their transfer was not enough and that she was mulling legal action against them.

Chowdhury also stepped up the ante against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati for her “insensitivity” in politicising the case by not looking at it from the point of view of a woman.

The Talwars’ domestic help Hemraj was named the prime suspect after Aarushi’s body was discovered. The police retracted May 17 after his dead body was found on the terrace of the apartment.

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

The Noida police could not recover the weapons of offence in spite of Talwar being in their custody for three days last week.

The case was handed over to the CBI Sunday after it became apparent that the Noida police had been extremely ham handed in its probe, with the investigating officer being changed thrice.

The CBI Monday sought Talwar’s custody for seven days but the court permitted only a day’s remand.

“We have already interrogated Aarushi’s mother (Nupur Talwar) and Rajesh’s interrogation would be essential to corroborate her statements,” a CBI official said.

Talwar’s lawyers argued in court that he was not an accused as the CBI had registered murder cases against “unidentified persons”.

He will now be produced Tuesday before a CBI court in Ghaziabad.

The court has also made it clear that Talwar’s lawyer will also be present during his questioning.

The callous manner in which the Noida police probed the case was evident from the fact that it did not even consider it necessary to seal the crime scene and allowed virtually everybody to move in and out of the Talwar’s apartment.

The CBI has been conducting the probe in a more scientific manner.

After cordoning off the Talwars’ apartment, a 25-member CBI team inspected the crime scene Sunday and lifted about 32 samples for fingerprinting, as also some blood samples.

The CBI has also taken over all the evidence collected by the Noida police, including the hard disk of Aarushi’s computer and her father’s laptop.

CBI Joint Director Arun Kumar heads the team probing the case. He has previously investigated killings of 20 women and young girls in Noida’s Nithari neighbourhood that, ironically, lies adjacent to Jal Vayu Vihar.

He has also probed the killing of Kolkata youth Rizwanur Rehman, who allegedly attracted the ire of a rich businessman for marrying his daughter without his consent.

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