Priest deposes in court in Aarushi case



Ghaziabad: A CBI witness, who performed the last rites of Aarushi, on Wednesday told a CBI court that Rajesh Talwar had claimed his daughter's bones nearly an hour after they were kept in crematorium locker, amid the agency's contention that the parents had shown undue haste.

Kripa Shankar Tripathi, a priest at the crematorium at Sector-94, Noida, told the CBI court during his examination in chief that Aarushi's bones were kept in the locker number 9 of the crematorium for half-an-hour on May 17, 2008, a day after the cremation, and after that her family members took them away. But in his cross examination, he said the family may have come to take the bones of Aarushi after one hour.

He deposed before the special judge S Lal that he cremated Aarushi's body on May 16, 2008 in the evening at 4:00 pm and when her bones were lifted from the ashes the next day, 6 to 7 people were present and 2 to 3 people came to take away the bones after half or one hour later.

Tripathi, the fifth of the 13 witnesses in the case, denied a suggestion that it was for the first time that bones of a body were claimed so soon.

He cited instances when the bones were kept at the crematorium for longer duration after cremation and also stated that "some people take away the bones immediately" after the cremation.

The details of the cremation of Aarushi were registered in the cremation register at page number 18 by the manager of the Antim Niwas, Subodh Singh, he said.

Tripathi also identified Subodh's signature on the paper which he gave to CBI.

He also told the trial court that locker number 9 was allotted to the family members of Aarushi on May 17, 2008 and the details about her were written by themselves in the cremation register.

The copy of the register was given to CBI by the manager of the crematorium, Ashok Sharma, the witness stated.

The witness also identified the signature of Ashok Sharma on the paper which was given to CBI by him.

During cross examination Kripa stated he was illiterate but knew Sanskrit language.

PTI