In a major breakthrough in the Aarushi murder case, the Delhi police today claimed to have recovered mobile phone of the teenaged girl, a move which the family termed as a "ray of hope" even as the Central Bureau of Investigation refused to comment on the development.
More than 16 months after Aarushi and her domestic help were found murdered at her Noida home, the Special Operations Squad (SOS) of Delhi Police's Crime Branch recovered the mobile phone from Bulandshahr on Saturday and have detained one person in this connection, sources said.
The SOS have handed over the phone to CBI which is investigating the case, they said.
The CBI, however, refused to comment on the development which could throw some light on the unsolved case.
Expressing happiness over the recovery of the 16-year-old girl's phone that had been missing since May 18 last year, her father Rajesh told PTI, "We have been praying since last year.
"The recovery of the mobile phone is a ray of hope for us that the culprits will be caught. I thank god for this breakthrough."
Sources said the Delhi Police had put Aarushi's phone on surveillance after the Noida police had requested its help in probing the case last year.
A team of the Delhi police had even visited the Talwar residence in Noida within a week of the recovery of the bodies.
There was no semen, as alleged initially, in the slides sent to them by CBI and corroborative testing revealed that the material was not drawn from Aarushi in the first place, CBI officials have earlier said.
'Aarushi's father Rajesh Talwar was arrested by Noida police for allegedly murdering his daughter.
The CBI, which started investigating the case after it was transferred to it by Uttar Pradesh government, had accused Hemraj and three others of killing the teenager.
The CBI arrested the three men but gave a clean chit to Talwar. However, CBI could not file any chargesheet in the case, which led to the release of all the three on bail.
Recently, CBI Director Ashwani Kumar decided to form a new team of officials which would go into the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case after the agency's Joint Director Arun Kumar, who was heading the probe, was repatriated to his parent IPS cadre in UP.
"The investigation is in progress and in consonance with the Supreme Court directions, CBI does not wish to share with the media any information about the case as it could hamper the investigation," CBI spokesman Harsh Bahal said when asked about the latest development in the case.