Aarushi murder case: Priest testifies

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NEW DELHI: CBI on Wednesday produced priest Kripa Shankar Tripathi, who had conducted the last rites of Aarushi Talwar, at the court. He said that "a day after the cremation held on May 16, 2008, Dr Rajesh and Nupur Talwar came to him along with other family members and reserved a locker for their daughter's ashes, but took it away within half an hour".

CBI officials said that "with his testimony, they are trying to prove that Talwars took the ashes from the priest and rushed to Haridwar as they wanted to stay away from the house at the time Hemraj's body was recovered".

Tripathi works as a priest at Antim Niwas, at sector 94 in Noida. He told the court: "On May 17, 2008, family members came and reserved locker number 9 to keep her ashes. They kept the remains in the locker for just half an hour after which they collected them and went away".

However, defence lawyers said that "if CBI's claim is true, then there would have been no need to reserve the locker. Initially, there was no plan to take the remains to Haridwar on May 17, 2008, but elders in the family said that ashes should be immersed as soon as possible".

Earlier, former Deputy SP of Noida K K Gautam had informed the court that he had been called by Dr Sushil Chaudhary, a friend of Talwars on May 17, and he went to their residence with him.

"Sushil Choudhary introduced me to Dinesh Talwar. I was told that Rajesh and Nupur Talwar had gone to Haridwar with the remains (after Aarushi's cremation). I asked if we could see the crime scene. Dinesh Talwar took me around the house," he had said.

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