Save us from prying media: Noida residents’ plea (Lead)May 27th, 2008 - 8:54 pm ICT by admin
By Kavita Bajeli-Datt
Noida, May 27 (IANS) Life has turned topsy-turvy in the once tranquil Jalvayu Vihar neighbourhood in this suburban town since the shocking murder of teenager Aarushi Talwar and her family’s domestic help, with residents seeking protection from prying media and decrying the rampant character assassination of the dead and living in the family. Thirteen days after the crime for which the police has arrested the girl’s father Rajesh Talwar on circumstantial evidence, the Talwar’s neighbours find it difficult to lead their normal lives as they find themselves literally hounded by media, who continue their siege of the complex.
Everyday, dozens of OB (outdoor broadcast) vans and vehicles with the word “PRESS” boldly inscribed on the windshield are parked near the Talwars’ J block house.
Reporters from the electronic media can be seen hanging around waiting for action of any kind to happen. In their quest for information, they catch hold of anyone they can - neighbours and even relatives coming to meet Aarushi’s mother Nupur, who is herself a dentist and has firmly denied her husband’s role in the murders.
What also distresses the residents is that utter strangers who have nothing at all to do with the crime have begun trooping in to gawk at the house where the sensational murders that have gripped the nation occurred.
What stuns many is the salacious rumours amounting to character assassination that are doing the rounds since the murders. Many blame this on the police version of the crime that has it that Rajesh Talwar killed his daughter because she objected to his affair with a fellow dentist.
Aarushi would have turned 15 on May 24. A Class 9 student of Delhi Public School (Noida), she was found dead with her throat slit and multiple stab injuries on her face, chest and neck May 16. Their domestic help, 45-year-old Hemraj, who the police initially named as the killer, was found dead on the terrace of the house the next day. Aarushi’s father was arrested on May 23.
“All kinds of innuendoes, rumours and speculations are doing the rounds. It’s horrible. Even the dead have not been spared. What kind of society are we living in?” asked a neighbour, speaking on condition of anonymity.
An elderly woman said she was hesitant to venture out for her routine evening stroll due to the large numbers of hangers on in the neighbourhood.
The anxiety and tension is palpable on the faces of the residents, who are mostly retired armed forces officers and their families.
Even a simple thing like asking for directions evokes a suspicious look.
“We shifted to this locality a few years ago because we were told that it is a quiet area. But see how the peace has been shattered. We are terrified of sending our children out to play. But for how long can we stop that?” a mother of two sons told IANS.
What worried her the most was the manner in which her children were beginning to mimic the dozens of television reporters outside the Talwar’s residence.
“Children are copying the reporters and talking a lot of nonsense. I can monitor their television viewing, but when they meet their friends, they discuss what they hear,” said the homemaker.
She said she once heard car doors slamming and shouts of “Woh jaa raha hai (he is going)”.
“When I went to the balcony to see what happened, I saw a cavalcade of cars following the police in which Rajesh Talwar was being taken. I have never seen something like this.”
“We just want this to be over. We want to be out of the media glare so that we can return to normal lives,” the homemaker said.