Is Krishna really involved in Noida murders, ask people

July 12th, 2008 - 12:07 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Aarushi Talwar

New Delhi, July 11 (IANS) It has become the staple of drawing room conversations for the past two months, and Friday the gruesome Noida double murders again grabbed national attention - overtaking even the ongoing hectic political drama - as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) revealed the names of three accused. The CBI Friday named Krishna, the medical assistant of dentist Rajesh Talwar, and two domestic helps of the neighbourhood as the people involved in the murders of teenager Aarushi Talwar and her family’s servant Hemraj on May 15 night.

The CBI said its statement is based on forensic and narco tests conducted on the accused. The agency apparently has no material evidence to offer as proof.

The question that was uppermost on everyone’s mind was whether Krishna was the real killer - even though the CBI claimed that he had confessed in a narco-analysis test to killing the girl

The other two named by the CBI with Krishna for involvement in the murders of Aarushi and Hemraj are Rajkumar, the domestic help of the Durranis who are close friends and colleagues of the Talwars, and Vijay Mandal, the domestic help of another family staying in Noida.

On May 16, Aarushi Talwar’s body was discovered in her parents’ upscale Noida apartment on the fringe of the capital. Hemraj, the family’s domestic help, was named the prime suspect. The next day, his body was discovered on the terrace of the apartment.

Aarushi’s father, dentist Rajesh Talwar, was arrested for suspected complicity in the crime.

The blow-by-blow account by the media and its reflections on the various aspects of the twin murders - on the issues of children’s rights, eroding family values, sleaze and the brutality of the murders, kept the nation glued to the newspapers and television.

“Actually, I am depressed that all these poor people have been held responsible for the ghastly act. I can’t say anything about the nature of the investigation, but I want to know why poor people are always held guilty,” asked Diwan Singh, an art critic, writer and social activist based in Delhi.

According to him the media coverage was biased. “The media aggravated the whole thing, coloured it with its own opinion, insinuated several things without relying on the examination by the police and court,” he hit out.

A section of the media had hinted that Aarushi was found in a compromising position with the domestic help, triggering rage in her father, while others hinted that the teenager had stumbled upon evidence about her father’s “illicit liaison” with a colleague.

Mumbai-based Zubin Driver, the network creative director of the Network 18 Group, felt that media coverage of the murder had been overplayed. “Personally, I find the story gory and it has been over-analysed. That does not help investigation,” Driver said.

“But as a professional, I feel that there is nothing wrong with the media cashing in on a crime story to improve its TRP. If the consumers love it, then obviously they have been right in their coverage,” Driver told IANS from Mumbai, when asked if the media coverage was right.

Kolkata-based Ananya Chatterjee-Chakraborty, a documentary filmmaker and lecturer in the city’s St Xavier’s College, felt there was no point in detaining the victim’s father for six weeks if the CBI knew that Krishna was the killer.

“The narco-analysis of those arrested could have been conducted earlier. Murdering a 14-year-old and the domestic help and then hiding the body of the manservant on the terrace to cover up tracks is gruesome, but the way Noida police handled the case initially was insensitive. It wiped out a lot of incriminating and vital evidence,” Chakraborty, who is also a human rights’ crusader, told IANS over telephone from Kolkata.

She said she could not help feeling that Aarushi’s parents were somehow involved in the murder. “Every time Aarushi’s mother Nupur Talwar appeared on the television, she could not face the camera. She always looked away and she held back Aarushi’s father whenever he tried to say somehow. I don’t find her above board,” the filmmaker said.

Delhi-based housewife Medha Bhatnagar, who coaches children at home, said every time there is a murder the servant is arrested. “I think Krishna has been made a scapegoat. The real murderer is still at large,” Bhatnagar said.

For both Medha Bhatnagar and Diwan Singh, the twin murders, investigation and the media coverage held mirrors to a changing society where families in the higher income groups were becoming increasingly dysfunctional.

Bhatnagar felt that the society “was going to the dogs”. “I have heard some stories about the girl, but she is so young. Parents are too busy minting money these days and are becoming insensitive to their children,” she said.

Rajesh Talwar was freed by the court on two sureties Friday.

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