Three years on, Aarushi murder remains a whodunit

May 15th, 2011 - 6:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Aarushi Talwar New Delhi, May 15 (IANS) Monday will mark three years since the sensational murders of Aarushi Talwar and her domestic help Hemraj shook the nation. But even after endless rounds of charges, counter-charges and court drama involving the teenage girl’s parents and investigators, the mystery remains far from resolved.

The country’s premier investigative agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), has stated before a court that it has sufficient prima facie evidence against Aarushi’s parents, dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar.

“The CBI has completed its investigation and the case is in court. The matter is sub judice,” CBI spokesperson Dharni Mishra told IANS when asked about the progress in the case.

The matter is still pending before the Ghaziabad CBI special court, with the Talwars moving the Supreme Court seeking an injunction on their trial.

Aarushi, a 14-year-old student of Delhi Public School, was found murdered in her Jalvayu Vihar apartment in Noida, a Delhi suburb, on May 16, 2008. The family’s domestic help, Hemraj, who was initially the prime suspect, was found killed on the terrace a day later.

Rajesh Talwar was arrested and kept behind bars for 50 days in connection with the crime but was later let off because of lack of evidence against him. After he was let off, the CBI arrested Krishna and two other domestic helps in the neighbourhood, Raj Kumar and Vijay Mandal, who too were let out on bail.

Meanwhile, Aarushi’s classmates and friends launched campaigns and organised candle light vigils demanding justice.

In December 2010, the CBI filed a closure report in the case before the special court in Ghaziabad but also stated that it had circumstantial evidence against the Talwars in Aarushi’s murder.

The probe agency told the court that Rajesh Talwar was its prime suspect in the killing of his daughter and domestic help, but he cannot be chargesheeted because of “insufficient evidence”.

The closure report meant that Krishna, Raj Kumar and Vijay Mandal, who are now on bail, would soon be set free.

However, Talwar approached court against the closure, demanding further investigation. The court too rejected the closure report, and in a dramatic twist, summoned both the parents to face the trial in the double murder, and directed the CBI to prosecute them.

The parents are now fighting the murder charges in the court.

“The CBI has wrongfully implicated us,” Rajesh Talwar said last month.

The apex court, where the Talwars sought a stay on their trial, has adjourned the matter till July 12, granting their plea.

“There are many instances of defamatory stories being floated in this case which are a bad influence on schoolgoing kids. The case must not be allowed to drag on and justice must be done. ,” opines N.K. Matta, a senior lawyer.

There have been many twists and turns in the case. A CBI official in a July 2008 report said the Talwars’ compounder Krishna and domestic helps Rajkumar and Vijay Mandal were under suspicion for the murder of Aarushi. The CBI then also said that Krishna had confessed to the crime in the narco-analysis test.

However, another CBI official Nilabh Kishore’s report in 2010 was completely different, saying the three servants were not present at the Talwar home when the murders took place.

Noida Police in 2008 also did a filp-flop. They first said Hemraj murdered Aarushi, but when they discovered his body after 24 hours on the terrace, they said Aarushi’s father was the main accused. It also cast aspersions on Rajesh Talwar’s character.

Rajesh Talwar was also stabbed in the face outside the special CBI court in January this year by a youth who had similarly attacked an accused in another high profile case.

With reams of newsprint dedicated to the case and no major headway by the probe agencies, the murder of Aarushi Talwar and Hemraj remains a mystery, making it one of India’s most intriguing whodunnits ever.

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