The mobile phone of the slain teenager Aarushi Talwar, which was recovered by the Delhi police at Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh and handed over to the CBI over the weekend, has been sent to a forensic laboratory.

The CBI is trying to ascertain whether the phone really belonged to Aarushi — whose body was found in her room at her Noida house on May 16 last year — and whether it contained any relevant information. Data deleted from the set will be extracted.

The phone was traced to Khurja in Bulandshahr, where it was allegedly recovered from Rambhool, a peon working in a bank. He purportedly told the police that he got it from his sister Kusum, who lives in a village in Noida. The police picked up Kusum and her husband over the weekend for questioning.

Kusum is learnt to have told the police that she found the Nokia N 72 set lying on a kaccha road in Sector 37 of Noida. Though Kusum was unable to recall the exact date, it is suspected that she stumbled upon the set a few days after the double murder of Aarushi and her domestic help Hemraj in Sector 25.

Kusum, who worked as a domestic help and is now a sweeper with an institute, did not know how to operate the mobile phone and had no idea if the set was functional. She took it home and allowed her son to play with it. The police believe that it remained switched off throughout. One day, Rambhool, who came to meet her, took away the phone.

For reasons not known, he did not use the phone for months and activated it only in February.

On Tuesday, CBI spokesman Harsh Bhal said: “In the double murder case investigations are in progress. Keeping in view the interest of fair and impartial investigations, as also in consonance with the directions of the Supreme Court, the CBI does not propose to share any detail with the media at this stage.”

Aarushi’s dentist-parents, Rajesh Talwar and Nupur, urged the media to let the CBI do its job. Dr. Talwar said the recovery of the phone had brought a ray of hope that the killers would be caught.

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