Every Indian is asking - who killed Aarushi?

June 4th, 2008 - 3:07 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 4 (IANS)It is a sensational murder case that has India in its grips. It is a crime that is on almost everyone’s lips — from those travelling on Delhi Metro to tea shops in Rajasthan to college campuses in the distant south, thanks to its saturation coverage in the mass media. Who killed teenager Aarushi Talwar? The twin murder — of 14-year-old schoolgirl Aarushi, who was found with her throat slit at her home in Noida abutting the Indian capital along with the family’s domestic help Hemraj — has fuelled widespread interest, heated debates and plenty of amateurish mental sleuthing.

That the teenager’s father, reputed dentist Rajesh Talwar, has been arrested as the prime suspect has only heightened people’s interest in the hair-raising crime.

And the sex angle, introduced by the police very vocally despite much dismay, has set many tongues wagging.

“I don’t think the father did it. A father can never do something as heinous as killing his own child,” an elderly man, Ashok Awasthi, told his wife while scanning a newspaper in a Delhi Metro car.

A retired principal of a government school, Awasthi said it was the father’s alleged involvement in the murders that had made the case so very interesting.

“A father is the figurehead of the family. He works for his family, sacrifices for the happiness of his children. To even think that he could have killed his own child is a bizarre suggestion,” Awasthi explained. “It shakes people’s belief in the very basic foundation of life.”

Psychiatrist Sameer Parikh agrees that the case threatens to shake people’s faith in the norms of the Indian society.

“Questions such as ‘Did the father kill his daughter?’ pose serious question about the fundamental framework of our society and about all the safety parameters on which we have such blind faith. Naturally, this case has generated a lot of interest. It has disturbed children as well as their parents,” Parikh told IANS.

A student of Noida’s Delhi Public School, Aarushi was found killed in her room May 16. The police initially insisted that the killer was their missing domestic help, Hemraj.

But the police had made a terrible blunder. Hemraj was already dead, and his body lay sprawled on the terrace — only to be discovered the next day by a retired police officer.

After a gap of some days, the police suddenly swooped on father Talwar, alleging, sensationally, that he killed his daughter and Hemraj after finding them in an “objectionable but not compromising position”.

Almost immediately, a section of the media speculated, on the strength of selective police leaks, that Aarushi had objected to her father’s affair with family friend and his colleague, Anita Durani.

There were more suggestive reports involving Talwar and his equally reputed dentist wife, Nupur. She has passionately defended her husband and said that the killer was in all probability an outsider.

The Talwars were a well-to-do middle class family, respected and well connected, and with a bright school-going child. All this has only endured continuing interest in Aarushi’s murder.

If only Hemraj had been killed, residents admit, there may not have been much interest in the death of a poor Nepali domestic help.

Lokesh Mansukhani of Udaipur keeps himself updated with every development involving the Talwars.

“I wonder who killed the girl… Each time I watch the news, there is a new twist to the tale. It’s just getting more mysterious by the day,” said Mansukhani, speaking to a visiting IANS correspondent.

Himanshu Malik, a college student in Bangalore, is convinced that Rajesh Talwar is the killer.

“I am sure the father, who I think is the culprit, will go scot free,” Malik said over telephone. “The Talwar family looks like they have good contacts with some powerful people. They will manage to get out of this mess.”

Anjuman Sheikh, a home maker and a mother of a 15-year-old son in Guwahati, said that her family’s after dinner conversations inevitably end with a discussion on Aarushi’s murder.

It’s not the killer which holds her interest - as the fate of Aarushi’s mother, Nupur.

“My heart goes out to the poor child who was killed. Being a mother and a wife myself, I can feel what Nupur must be going through.

“Not only is her child dead but her husband is held as the suspect of her child’s murder! Everytime I browse through TV channels, I stop when Nupur’s interview comes on. I really feel for that woman,” Sheikh told IANS.

Questions, questions, questions… Everyone is hoping and praying that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which has taken over the investigation from the Uttar Pradesh Police, will soon come up with the answers.

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