In Aarushi’s Noida neighbourhood, blame is on police, media

May 15th, 2009 - 9:48 am ICT by IANS  

Aarushi Talwar By Prerna Sodhi
Noida, May 15 (IANS) Old wounds take time to heal. Jalvayu Vihar, the upper middle class neighbourhood on the edge of Delhi, is still haunted by the mysterious murders of teenager Aarushi Talwar and her domestic help Hemraj a year ago. Residents are also very wary of the media.

When IANS knocked on the door of a house next to the Talwars’ second floor L-32 flat, a woman came out. But she refused to discuss the sensational case and shut the door.

At the entrance of the building, a woman who irons clothes also refused to speak. She did not even want to reveal her name.

It was the same with the vegetable and fruit vendors standing outside L-Block that houses the Talwars’ house.

Mahendra, who works as a driver, was one of the few who spoke. He described the May 16, 2008, murders and the chain of events that followed as sad, especially the way the media hounded Aarushi’s parents - dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur.

“It’s wrong to play with the dignity of the family without any concrete proof,” Mahendra told IANS.

“The media had to do its job but it could have been a bit more responsible and left the family alone to mourn the brutal death of their daughter.”

Fourteen-year-old Aarushi was found with her throat slit at her home. The family help Hemraj was found murdered on the terrace a day later. Noida Police arrested Aarushi’s dentist father Rajesh Talwar in connection with the crime, but he was let off after 50 days.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested his medical assistant Krishna and accused him of committing the murders with the help of Raj Kumar and Vijay Mandal, both domestic helps in the neighbourhood. The three are out on bail at present and the agency is yet to file a chargesheet.

“This case is a total failure of the CBI,” said D.P. Goel, a ground engineer with the Indian Air Force who lives there.

He also questioned the media’s role. “The media overexposed the case. The dignity of the poor child was tarnished. And it was not the media’s job to judge the situation. The media should have been let in only after complete investigations.”

A year ago, dozens of reporters had camped day and night outside the Talwars’ house, setting up their cameras and OB vans. Some even hounded children and passersby to give “bytes” on the murders.

Today flat number L-32 where the Talwars started living after Aarushi’s birth in 1994 remains locked. Early in May, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar shifted to Azad Apartments, a locality in south Delhi.

Goel said the couple still come to the area to meet their parents who reside just a block away. “They don’t like talking about the incident. They do not like it even if someone else talks about it,” adds Goel.

Another resident, who refused to give his name, said: “I won’t say the media messed up the case, but, yes, the case lost focus. Such cases that deal with family reputations should not be publicised like that,” he said.

Seema Sharma, a homemaker who was out for an evening walk, blamed police and the CBI.

“You really can’t blame the media as the media was like a pendulum. Their opinion varied as the case progressed. The carelessness came from the cops who overexposed the case before any logical conclusion could be reached,” she said in a hush-hush voice.

-Indo-Asian News Service.


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