The house we blew down

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WE’LL HUFF AND WE’LL PUFF TILL WE BLOW YOUR HOUSE IN

Look closely and you find something incredible — with some careful adjustments and deletions, the closure report actually repeats many of the same claims The Pioneer’s 24 May report had presented. Since the CBI had itself rubbished The Pioneer article, let’s examine the similar assertions in its report.

1. Heavy hints but stopping short of explicitly saying that Aarushi had sexual intercourse or was raped before being murdered.
Apparently, the postmortem doctors gave statements to the CBI that add radical new facts not present in the original postmortem report: “The hymen of Aarushi was ruptured and was having an old tear” and “the vaginal orifice of deceased Aarushi was unduly large and the mouth of cervix was visible”. The closure report also claims her private parts were extraordinarily dilated and that they were cleaned after the murder. All this contradicts the original postmortem report, which only noted the presence of whitish discharge under the External Examination header of Vagina, and stated “NAD” (nothing abnormal detected) under the External Examination headers of Genitals and Other Special Descriptions and another “NAD” under the Internal Examination header of Generational [Reproductive] Organs. The postmortem doctor, Dr Sunil Kumar Dohare, also didn’t note any postmortem cleaning of the private parts.

Today, the closure report somehow doesn’t mention the “NADs” but does say “a whitish discharge was present inside the vaginal cavity and mouth of cervix of deceased Aarushi” — this contradicts its assertion that Aarushi’s private parts were extraordinarily dilated and/or cleaned, since if they were dilated or cleaned no whitish discharge would have remained. So either the original postmortem report is wrong or the doctors’ later statements are wrong – but both come from the same people! Incredibly, the CBI claims both the original postmortem report and the postmortem doctors’ later statements are somehow correct and consistent with each other.

If you accept the claim that the doctors were able to summon up details from memory about Aarushi’s body that they somehow missed during the actual postmortem, you still end up with another vexing contradiction in the report — how can there have been a “request for nonmention of rape in PM proceedings” from Dinesh Talwar if, as the CBI finally concludes after investigation with the doctors, “No signs of rape were visible” on Aarushi?

The report continues in the salacious tradition first set by the Uttar Pradesh Police’s press conference. Rajesh Talwar, despite all that he has seen and heard since he lost his child, is still aghast at these particular insinuations. “They not only accuse me of murdering my daughter but also of cleaning her private parts. They have no humanity.” He adds about the media’s reporting about sexual innuendos, “It’s worse than killing a parent. Aarushi is not here anymore. Would they be able to write these things if she were alive?”

2. Suggesting the murders were caused by a golf stick and that a golf club had been missing from Rajesh’s set.
There are mysterious discrepancies about Aarushi’s injuries between what her postmortem says and what the CBI’s closure report says. The postmortem report found four injuries: two incised wounds and two lacerations. The closure report states only two — a blunt one and an incised wound. Also, the closure report finds Aarushi’s blunt head injury to be in the occipital (back) region but the postmortem finds an injury in the “left parietal [front] region”.

The closure report also mentions a “U/V-shaped injury” horizontal to the body but doesn’t connect to it being a typical injury the notch in a khukri inflicts.

The doctors apparently stated to the CBI that the victims’ injuries were caused by “a surgically trained person in a precise manner” which makes the CBI suspect the parents, but the closure report also leaves wriggle room by saying that the “board of experts” constituted by the CBI’s first team (under Arun Kumar) had actually concluded that the cut mark injuries could have been made by a khukri. So which one is it? Why is the CBI unable to decide the matter at this late stage? It says it’s hampered by “non-recovery of one weapon of offence and their link to either the servants or the parents”.

But look again at evidence the CBI doesn’t connect in its report. Krishna owned a khukri but the CBI dismisses this fact since it didn’t find human blood on the weapon. Also, the Talwars point to an Indian Express report from 7 June 2008 which said that experts from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi concluded after examining the postmortem report that Aarushi was murdered with a sharp-edged knife, given the deep cut on her throat (with probably a wooden handle to administer the blunt injuries) — rather than a surgical instrument like a scalpel, which “is so small it can only cut the skin layer by layer”.

In the report, associate professor of forensic medicine Dr Sudhir Gupta said, “The girl must have lost consciousness immediately after the head injury. The blow caused a clot bigger than a cricket ball in her brain. If her neck had been slit first, blood would have jutted [sic] out and sprayed all over the room. But that did not happen. In this case, the neck injury was the last injury.”

KEY QUESTION
Why does the post-mortem doctor’s statement to the CBI contradict his own original report?

As in other sections of the closure report, the section that identifies the weapon of choice is a masterpiece of insinuation and self-contradiction. After that blighted month of May 2008, neither Nupur nor Rajesh have ever spent a night at their Noida house again. (After Rajesh’s release from jail, the couple lived with Nupur’s parents for a while.) From the time of the murder, the various investigating teams had full access to the house. In May 2009, when the Talwars wanted to move house from Noida to Delhi, Dr Nupur Talwar sought and received the CBI’s permission to move their personal belongings. The movers packed up the Talwar’s belongings under the eye of a CBI inspector, and these included the golf clubs still lying in Hemraj’s room, one golf club that’d been found in the loft and the rest of the set from the garage. The Talwars add that the loft had actually been inspected at various times both by the UP police and the CBI, and they saw nothing suspicious in the golf club there.

Rajesh Talwar was a recent and infrequent player of golf. Before the murders, the two golf clubs he used, as an inexpert player, had been in the trunk of his car. When the car was sent for servicing, the clubs were placed in Hemraj’s room. After the murders, they were still in Hemraj’s room in plain sight of every investigating team that ever entered the scene. So also for the set in the garage and the lone one in the loft. All were deemed innocuous like the rest of the household belongings until 17 months after the murder. On 29 October 2009, 17 months after the murder and five months after the Talwars had officially moved their belongings, the CBI asked the Talwars to send Rajesh’s golf set to them. He did so the next day.

In its closure report of December 2010, the CBI says “the dimensions of the striking surface of the golf club bearing No 5 were identical to the dimensions of the injury on the heads” of the victims. In one of its many baffling sub-clauses, the CBI also concludes that “the murder was caused by a golf stick which indicates that the assault was initiated on the basis of a grave and sudden provocation.” Let’s skip the circular logic of this statement. It’s particularly baffling more because the same report also states no biological fluid, bloodstain or DNA of victims was recovered from the golf sticks. This absence of proof is brilliantly changed into proof in the next clause, which says two of the golf sticks were cleaner than the others in the set.

Wounds Rajesh Talwar after being attacked (top); Attacker Utsav Sharma being grabbed by a crowd
Wounds Rajesh Talwar after being attacked (top); Attacker Utsav Sharma being grabbed by a crowd

To the eye of the whodunnit reader, this would be a prod to say ‘aha’ until you realise that what it is actually saying is: the CBI found no proof linking the golf clubs to the murders.

Muddying the waters further, the closure report narrates a sequence of events in which the CBI had always suspected a golf club had been the murder weapon and had interrogated Rajesh Talwar about the missing golf club. The missing golf club in this version of events was found a year later by Nupur in the loft who then failed to tell the CBI about it. But why did the CBI leave all the golf clubs in the house, garage and loft for 17 months if they suspected that one of them was the weapon — if, as it claims in its closure report, it was already questioning Rajesh about his golf clubs “while in police custody remand with CBI”? Why did the CBI not seize the suspected golf club when it inspected the loft or when its inspector supervised the Talwars’ house moving, which included the golf clubs? The report doesn’t say. It does say the Talwars handed over the complete golf set when asked for it.

3. Believing the servants’ alibis are solid.
The closure report says both key suspected servants have solid alibis and were absent from the crime scene: For the compounder Krishna, the CBI relies solely on an alibi provided by his family members, who say he was at his house on 15th night. And on May 15th evening, says the CBI, Raj Kumar had gone to the New Delhi railway station with his employer Dr Praful Durrani to receive Dr Anita Durrani. They apparently returned home around 11:30 pm, after which Kumar prepared a late dinner for Anita since she had been fasting that day. Anita ate after midnight and everyone slept around 12:30 am. This is Kumar’s alibi.

But when TEHELKA asked them, the Durranis say they told the CBI a different story. They say they both ate and slept before midnight on the 15th after Anita was picked up from her 10:50 pm train. Raj Kumar had made dinner before leaving for the station. Anita adds that because she was on her usual Thursday fast, she ate before midnight. The couple also say Raj Kumar’s bathroom was outside the house’s main back door so he could go out any time he wished.

Also, the CBI says Hemraj’s call details don’t show any interaction with any of the three suspect servants on 15th May and no outsider made contact with Hemraj. But the Talwars say this is flatly false since a) Krishna and Hemraj were together that morning working in the Noida clinic b) Later that day, according to the Talwars, call records show Hemraj received two calls at 4:58 pm and 5:37 pm from the clinic’s landline — a time period when only Krishna was in the clinic (the Talwars claim that both their and Dr Anita Durrani’s phone records can show they were physically not at the clinic during this timeframe) and c) At 8:27 pm on 15th May, say the Talwars, call records collected by the police show Hemraj received a call from a PCO in nearby Nithari area; the Talwars point to this last fact’s relevance since the police had informed them that when Hemraj’s phone was picked up to receive Nupur’s call at 6:01 am on 16th morning, it was within the range of Tower 1362, which also covers both Nithari area and Krishna’s house.

4. Hemraj’s body was removed from the scene of murder.
The CBI’s own UV Light testing team trounced this theory back in June 2008 when it reported that it didn’t find Hemraj’s bloodstains anywhere except the terrace, so he couldn’t have been killed anywhere else. And the CBI itself admits in the closure report that “no blood of Hemraj was found on the bed sheet and pillow of Aarushi. There is no evidence to prove that Hemraj was killed in the room of Aarushi”.

5. Aarushi’s door couldn’t be opened from outside without the key that her parents had.
The closure report once again presents one of the oldest canards against the Talwars, firmly lodged by now in the public imagination through the media’s misreporting from the very first month of the crime — that Rajesh and Nupur, as the closure report puts it, “used to lock the bedroom of Aarushi during night”. Actually, the parents’ room, Aarushi’s room and the main door of the house all had self-locking Godrej locks — the kind that locks automatically when the door closes. These locks could be opened from the inside by turning the lever, but could be opened from outside only with a key. These locks are often used as security measures in urban homes with domestic help — for instance, Aarushi’s best friend Fiza’s mother Masooma Ranalvi told TEHELKA that each bedroom in her house also had similar locks.

KEY QUESTION
Why won’t the CBI do Touch DNA testing when it can yield results even after years of contamination?

Nupur has consistently maintained from the start she probably made the mistake of leaving the key hanging in Aarushi’s door when she left her child on 15th night after switching on the internet router — she claims to have stated this to the investigating authorities and answered this specific question in the several lie detector, brain mapping and narco-analysis tests she’s successfully passed for the CBI.

6. Stating that call details show KK Gautam’s discovery of Hemraj’s body was “not a mere coincidence” (implying Rajesh had been in touch with Gautam or had known him from before).
The closure report states that call details and KK Gautam’s statement show Gautam’s discovery of Hemraj’s body was “not a mere coincidence”, while Rajesh categorically says he didn’t know Gautam from before and the latter came to the house on the 17th voluntarily accompanying a visitor. Dinesh also categorically denies knowing KK Gautam from before or asking him to use any influence.

1 COMMENT

  1. This chain of events, that the cops say proves the parents killed their daughter, would be laughed out of court & all the relevant investigative persons involved would lose their jobs in any civilized nation or society. When the cops, media, judiciary, even the common public cannot show even the slightest respect for a dead 14 year old girl & her grieving, devastated parents then India has lost the right to call itself a civilization or even a 19th century society.

    We should just dissolve the country into 30 or so countries, & call it a day.

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