The perfect murder? Aarushi-Hemraj murders remain mystery (Roundup)

September 9th, 2008 - 7:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Aarushi TalwarNew Delhi, Sep 9 (IANS) Was this the perfect murder, the storybook denouement to a high profile case where the criminal disappears into the darkness? On Tuesday, when the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) admitted it had made no headway in the sensational murders of teenager Aarushi Talwar and her domestic help Hemraj that was the question many were asking. Conceding its failure to investigate the double murders, that had the nation riveted for weeks, the premier investigating agency said it was not charging anybody with the double murders and announced a reward of Rs.100,000 for clues leading to the evidence.

Almost four months after Aarushi was found with her throat slit in her Noida home on May 16 - Hemraj’s body was found a day later - the CBI said it would not file a chargesheet in the case anytime soon and would not oppose bail for the accused.

The investigating agency was to submit its chargesheet before Sep 10, 2008 to meet the 90-day deadline since the first arrest in the case - that of Aarushi’s dentist father Rajesh Talwar on May 23.

“The investigation in the case would continue…. Section 167 CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) gives right to every person in custody to be released on bail if no chargesheet is filed against him within 90 days of his custody.

“If the bail applications of the accused persons comes up in court, the full facts of the case will be presented before the court in a truthful, legal and professional manner by the CBI,” Deputy Inspector General of Police Neeraja Gotru told reporters here.

Gotru just fell short of saying that till now it had no material evidence to press charges against Krishna, the Nepali medical assistant of Aarushi’s dentist father Rajesh Talwar, and Raj Kumar, the domestic help of Talwars’ family friends. The third accused in the case, Vijay Mandal, who also worked as a domestic help in the Noida neighbourhood of the Talwars, was granted bail by a CBI court in Ghaziabad last week.

Gotru’s statement came soon after a special CBI court in Ghaziabad rejected the bail plea of Raj Kumar. Krishna’s bail has been deferred till Sep 19.

“This is just a technical point. A metropolitan magistrate does not have the power to grant bail to a murder accused. We will now approach the sessions court,” Raj Kumar’s lawywer Naresh Yadav told IANS.

The CBI, which has been unable to trace the murder weapon and the mobile phones of Aarushi and Hemraj, has also declared a reward of Rs.100,000 for anybody leading it to the crucial pieces of evidence.

“An award of one lakh (Rs. 100,000) rupees is announced to anyone giving further clue in this case, leading to recovery of the weapon of offence or mobile phone. The weapon used in this case was a heavy and sharp edged weapon, which could also be a ‘khukri’ (a curved dagger used in Nepal),” Khotru said.

The premier investigating agency is also probing the Nepal links of the accused to get to the crucial evidence.

“A letters rogatory, that is a letter of request is being sent to Nepal, seeking assistance in locating some witnesses and mobile phones of the deceased,” Khotru added.

The CBI, which took over the case May 31, has accused Krishna, Raj Kumar and Vijay Mandal in the double murders on the basis of their narco-analysis tests — the only basis of the CBI’s probe that is not admissible as evidence in the court.

This was probe where everything seemed to go wrong from the word go. The Noida police who initially took up the probe blamed Hemraj, but backtracked a day later after his body was found on the terrace of the apartment.

Aarushi’s dentist father was arrested a week later. On July 11, CBI director Arun Kumar gave a clean chit to Talwar and accused Krishna, Raj Kumar and Vijay Mandal. Now, it has been unable to hold up that theory either.

“I cannot recall a similar instance where an agency, especially the CBI, goes through all these arrests of a father, aides, concocts a story and then finds it all coming to naught,” said former joint commissioner of Delhi police Maxwell Pereira.

“The CBI has taken up a miserable case. Even the confessions of the accused during the narco-tests are not admissible in the court. Somebody has to come up to give clues in the case,” added former CBI chief Joginder Singh.

For an investigating agency that claimed till two months back that it was close to cracking the case and promised to bring the curtains down in a murder that had millions engrossed, the denouement is obviously a dampener.

Whodunit?

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