Preliminary investigations in the Aarushi Talwar murder case, in which a special CBI court on Monday pronounced her parents Nupur and Rajesh Talwar guilty, was beset by loopholes. Nevertheless, despite the lack of direct evidence — that was either destroyed deliberately by the dentist couple or lost due to police inaction — the Central Bureau of Investigation eventually secured conviction based on circumstantial evidence.

The Uttar Pradesh Police, which arrested Rajesh Talwar for complicity in the murders, lost the golden opportunity of collecting critical forensic evidence during the first crucial 48 hours as they failed to initially discover Hemraj’s body, which was found on the terrace of the Talwars’ Noida residence a day after Aarushi’s murder was reported. The crime scene was also not properly protected, which irked the CBI that took over the probe a month later.

By the time the CBI initiated the probe, Aarushi’s body had been cremated. Under these circumstances, the agency set out searching for evidence worthy enough to stand court scrutiny. Zeroing in on Rajesh Talwar’s assistant Krishna and two persons engaged as domestic help, Raj Kumar and Vijay Mandal, the first team subjected them to psychoanalysis, polygraph, brain-mapping and narco-analysis tests and concluded that they were the killers.

However, realising that the theory would not hold water, the then CBI top brass revamped the entire team midway, beginning the probe afresh. “We had to collate all possible evidence reconstructing the circumstances under which the murders were committed,” said a CBI official. And then, about one-and-half years after the incident, the agency was handed over a golf stick found concealed within the residential complex and it later turned out to be one of the murder weapons. The other one was a surgical tool.

The day Aarushi was found murdered, her father lodged a complaint alleging that Hemraj had gone missing after killing her. However, the domestic help’s body was later discovered on the terrace. Although the couple claimed that they had no inkling of what transpired inside the 1,300 sq ft house, the agency presented facts through a report stating that there was a plywood partition between the rooms of Aarushi and the Talwars. The agency also banked on the “last seen” theory, stating the couple was in the house along with Aarushi and Hemraj when the murders took place and hence, they were the only ones in the know. There was also no evidence of forced entry.

Although the Talwars said they usually locked Aarushi’s room from outside, they could not explain how they found the door open the next morning when she was found murdered. The door could have been opened only from inside.

The CBI findings, quoting the post-mortem reports of Aarushi and Hemraj, suggested that evidence had been destroyed meticulously after the murders.

“The findings … reveal a number of circumstances that indicate the involvement of the parents in the crime and the cover-up,” said the report.

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