New Delhi: On May 16, the double murder of teenager Aarushi Talwar and domestic help Hemraj that shocked India will be four years old. But the question — whodunit — is still as much of a mystery, with the first hearing in the trial held just last week in a court in Ghaziabad.
There have been twists and turns aplenty, with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) accusing Aarushi’s dentist couple parents Rajesh and Nupur Talwar only in February 2011, the first formal order in the case. The circumstantial evidence against them was that they were the only people present at the crime scene. Aarushi, 14, was found with her throat slit at her home at Jalvayu Vihar in Noida on the outskirts of the capital May 16, 2008. The body of her family’s domestic help Hemraj, who was initially suspected for the crime, was found the next day on the terrace of the house.
CBI investigators, who took over from Noida police, claimed that 90 per cent of the evidence had been destroyed.
Though there was a whiskey bottle in Rajesh Talwar’s room and two bottles in Hemraj’s room on the terrace, the fingerprints could not be matched.
“Apart from not capturing the finger prints on whiskey bottles in Hemraj’s room, police allowed the media to freely roam around the crime scene rather than restricting access to the flat,” a source in CBI told IANS.
In addition, police allowed doctors not specifically trained in forensic pathology to conduct the autopsies of Hemraj and Aarushi, he said.
While it is established procedure to lift fingerprints from the skin of victims, doctors entrusted with the autopsies neglected to call forensic scientists for the job, the sources said.
Experts at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) have raised questions over one entry in Arushi’s post-mortem report in which whitish discharge was mentioned from the vagina but not investigated.
Timeline of Aarushi Talwar-Hemraj killings
- May 16, 2008: Aarushi Talwar, the daughter of dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar found dead with her throat slit in her bedroom in Noida.
- May 17: Body of Hemraj, Talwars’ servant, found on the terrace of their house.
- May 21: Police say murder by ‘doctor or butcher’.
- May 23: Aarushi’s father Rajesh Talwar arrested for double murder.
- May 31: CBI takes over.
- September 2009: Hyderabad-based Central Forensic Science Laboratory files a report stating that most of the physical evidence taken from the crime scene and Aarushi’s vaginal sample were tampered with.