Aarushi trial: Golf club is not the murder weapon, says expert

Last Updated: Tue, Jun 25, 2013 18:50 hrs

A forensic expert called in to testify in defence has testified that a golf club could not have been the murder weapon in the Aarushi-Hemraj murders. Based on documents on record, Dr R.K. Sharma, a former head of forensic medicine at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, has also written a report that says this. The report has been placed before the trial court, which will decide whether to admit it is as part of record in the coming days.

What were the weapons that killed the teenager Aarushi Talwar and the Talwars' servant Hemraj? The irony of the case where the parents of the dead girl stand accused is that there is no clear answer to that question. What is clear, however, is that there were two weapons used in the acts. One that inflicted fatal blunt injuries to the head, and another that slit the victims' throats as if to make death a certainty.

The sharp weapon hasn't been found. As for the blunt injuries, the murder weapon "changed". It was initially thought that the death blows came from a kukri. Such a weapon was seized from the home of one of the Talwars' employees, Krishna, following what he revealed about the murders during his brain mapping and narco analysis.

Forensic tests on the kukri found traces of blood on the knife, but the blood wasn't of human origin. What animal did it come from? The CBI's forensic laboratory couldn't ascertain that either. (There are several other instances in this case where human DNA has been found along with traces of blood -- from palm prints on liquor bottles to earth from the terrace -- but the report, on each occasion, has bafflingly said the blood was "not of human origin" .)

Aarushi's father Rajesh Talwar was a novice golfer, and about two years after the murders, the murder weapon transformed itself from kukri to a golf club. A set of clubs was seized, and forensically analyzed. These threw up no evidence at all: no traces of blood or DNA.

But it threw up a theory nevertheless: Dr Talwar the golfer had clubbed his daughter and servant to death, Dr Talwar the surgeon had made a neat incision with a scalpel across his victims' throats to make sure they were dead. His wife Nupur, then helped him cover up the crime scene.

Dr R.K. Sharma, a forensic scientist of formidable credentials, told the court on Tuesday that the fatal injuries to the victims could not have come from a golf club. A blow by such a piece of sporting equipment would cause a depressed fracture (where the bone collapses inwards). Neither Aarushi nor Hemraj had such a fracture, according to their post-mortem reports. Their post-mortems say they suffered line fractures (which is akin to a crack).

Dr Sharma said that the victims' throats could not have been slit by a scalpel of the kind Dr Talwar would have used. He had seen several cases of death scalpel injuries, but the cutting surface of the scalpels used were much larger.

The case resumes on Friday. On Wednesday, the Talwars appeal to the Allahabad High Court praying that documents such as the scientific tests on Krishna and the other servants be brought on record, along with the work sheets of the forensic scientist who found human DNA but no "human origin" blood.

Read more:

Expert exposes post-mortem doctor's lies

Aarushi trial: Exposing CBI's double standards

Will the CBI give the Talwars a fair trial?

Could one of the servants have killed Aarushi Talwar?

Aarushi Trial: Talwars in the dock

Avirook Sen has been a journalist and writer for over 20 years. A former resident editor of Hindustan Times (Mumbai) and editor of Mid-Day, he has written with passion and insight on subjects as varied as sport and terrorism for top publications across the world. His first book, Looking for America, was published in 2010 to enthusiastic reviews. You can write to him at avirook@gmail.com

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