‘Found Aarushi phone, handed it to my family’

Domestic help says she found cellphone in park, but can't remember its make

The CBI on Monday produced Kusum, who had found Aarushi Talwar's cellphone in a park in Noida a few weeks after her murder, as a prosecution witness in the case against Rajesh and Nupur Talwar.

The couple is facing trial for the murder of their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj on May 15, 2008. Kusum had reportedly found the phone in a park in Noida. She gave it to members of her family.

In court, Kusum said she works as a domestic help at several houses in Noida Sector-40, and she found the phone a few weeks after Aarushi's murder, when she was returning home. "I found the phone on a walkway in a park while I was going back to my home in Sadarpur. It was clean, which is why I picked it up. I then gave it to my husband, who kept it for a week and gave it to my brother Ram Bhul when he came to visit us," she said.

Kusum told the court of Additional Sessions Judge Shyam Lal that around a year and a half after this, the Delhi Police visited Ram Bhul's house in Bulandshahar and recovered the mobile phone. Ram Bhul was released after questioning.

During cross-examination by the defence, Kusum said, "I cannot remember what the phone looked like." The phone was not produced in the court.

Tanveer Ahmed Mir, defence counsel representing the Talwars, said, "Upon further questioning, Kusum said at no point did a CBI team ask her to take them to the park where the phone was recovered, and no site map was made."

CBI representatives said they had produced the witness to prove that Aarushi's phone was removed from her house. "Since the phone was found at the park, it is clear someone tried to remove it from the premises of the house. This will prove useful at a later stage in the trial," they said.

The next hearing is scheduled for November 16.

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