New Delhi: On the morning of May 16, 2008, Aarushi, the 14-year-old daughter of an affluent dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, was found murdered in her home in Noida's Jalvayu Vihar.
The mystery surrounding the case has made it one of India's most intriguing murder whodunnit ever. Police and sleuths of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) agree that what happened in the intervening night of May 15 and early morning of May 16 holds the key to the case.
Here's two sequence of events pieced together based on the reports of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) teams probing the high-profile case.
Arun Kumar's report
CBI joint director Arun Kumar said in press conference in July, 2008 that Dr Rajesh Talwar's compounder Krishna and Rajkumar and Vijay Mandal, the domestic helps of one of Talwars' neighbour were under suspicion for the murder of Aarushi.
Kumar event went as far ahead as to say that Krishna had confessed to the crime in the narco-analysis test. Reconstructing the scene of crime, Kumar said Rajkumar, Krishna and Talwar's domestic help Hemraj were drinking heavily on the night of May 15. They went into Aarushi's room in their inebriated state with the intention of raping her.
When she raised an alarm, they gagged and hit her on the head. Hemraj panicked and a quarrel broke out between Rajkumar, Krishna and Hemraj. The trio decided to sort out the issue on the terrace fearing that the Talwars would wake up. On the terrace, Rajkumar and Krishna allegedly slit Hemraj's throat.
They returned to Aarushi's room and killed her the same way, Kumar said. No deception was found in the polygraph tests conducted on Rajesh and Nupur Talwar and their psycho-analysis tests came out clean.
Kumar said the entry to the house seemed friendly. He said Krishna and Rajkumar along with Vijay Mandal went to the Talwar residence at night and was let in by Hemraj.
On why the parents heard no commotion, Arun Kumar said the combined noises of two air-conditioners in the Talwars' bedroom drown all sounds of scuffle.
Nilabh Kishore's report
Then SP (CBI) Nilabh Kishore's report is completely different from Kumar's. His report says the three servants were not present at the Talwar home when the murders took place.
On the night of the murder, the Internet router in the apartment remained active. The last activity was at 3:43 am when it was finally switched off, nearly three hours after the approximate time of the murder.
Aarushi, who normally stayed up late talking on her mobile phone, apparently switched it off at 9:10 p.m. on the night of May 15. The mobile phone was missing and was recovered only a year after the murders with its memory wiped clean.
According to Kishore's report, Rajkumar was at the railway station from 11:30 pm to receive the wife of Talwars' family friend Durrani.
Krishna's family members vouched for him and said he was at home on the night of the murders.
In all, the two conflicting reports crippled the progress of the case. The account of what actually happened on the night of May 15 still remains hazy.