Wednesday, July 28, 2021
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Poor investigations put innocent Talwars behind bars

[dropcap]N[/dropcap]upur Talwar, who is serving a jail term for the murder of her 14-year-old daughter Aarushi Talwar, has been granted parole for three weeks to visit her ailing mother. Already, this poor mother had gone through lot of pain. Law and order and judiciary shut its doors for the poor couple due to lame investigations and ego clashes among different investigation officers. Couple are in jail since 2013. When Meghna Gulzar’s movie ‘Talvar’ released, these Talwars appeared in debate of prime time national news channels and it was seemed that justice would be delivered. Movie has beautifully explained the failure of investigating agencies and judicial lacunas. Talwars’ are in jail for no fault of theirs. More than 7 years after Aarushi Talwar was found murdered in her Noida home, her grandfather BG Chitnis then broke his silence for the first time. The 80-year-old decorated war veteran of the Indian Air Force has written an open letter which was posted on the Facebook page ‘Free the Talwars’. The trial in the case led to a life sentence for Aarushi’s dentist parents – Rajesh Talwar and Nupur Talwar.

In his letter, Nupur Talwar’s father calls for his daughter and son-in-law’s right for a free and fair trial. A Grandfather’s Plea in an Open Letter, in which he described his pain and what he is feeling at that moment, he expressed his feeling for his granddaughter Aarushi.  He wanted his daughter to be freed and actual culprits to go behind bars. Aarushi Talwar’s family lived in an apartment at Noida. Rajesh and Nupur practiced together at their clinics. Yam Prasad Banjade, better known as Hemraj, was the Talwar family’s live-in domestic help and cook. His family lived in his native village in the Arghakhanchi district of Nepal. The days passed, with a boorish local police trying to investigate the murder in a disinterested manner culminating into the arrest of Rajesh, and subsequently infamous press briefing by IG Meerut causing unprecedented uproar in the media. The media became ferocious with speculative character assassination of Aarushi and her parents. The onslaught was severe. This bizarre circus continued throughout the trial culminating into an astounding judgement declaring Nupur and Rajesh guilty, and sentencing them to life in prison.

When Aarushi’s body was discovered on 16 May, 2008, the missing servant Hemraj was considered as the main suspect. However, the next day, his partially decomposed body was discovered on the terrace. The police were heavily criticized for failing to secure the crime scene immediately. After ruling out the family’s ex-servants, the police considered Aarushi’s parents—Dr. Rajesh Talwar and Nupur Talwar—as the prime suspects. The police suspected that Rajesh had murdered the two after finding them in an “objectionable” position, or because Rajesh’s alleged extra-marital affair had led to his blackmail by Hemraj and a confrontation with Aarushi. The accusations enraged the Talwars’ family and friends, who accused the police of framing the Talwars in order to cover up the botched-up investigation. The case was then transferred to the CBI, which exonerated the parents and suspected the Talwars’ assistant Krishna along with two domestic servants—Rajkumar and Vijay. Based on the narco tests conducted on the three men, the CBI suspected that they had killed Aarushi after an attempted sexual assault and Hemraj for being a witness. The CBI was accused of using dubious methods to extract a confession, and all the three men were released after it could not find any solid evidence against them.

In 2009, the CBI handed over the investigation to a new team, which recommended closing the case due to critical gaps in the evidence. Based on circumstantial evidence, it named Rajesh Talwar as the sole suspect, but refused to charge him due to lack of any hard evidence. The parents opposed the closure, calling CBI’s suspicion on Rajesh as baseless. Subsequently, a court rejected the CBI’s claim that there was not enough evidence, and ordered proceedings against the Talwars.

Even though, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) wanted to file a closure report in the case, no one from the premier investigating agency has ever spoken about the fact that the CBI team which first handled the case had said that it wasn’t the Talwars but their servants who killed Aarushi. The second CBI team which took over went back to the theory presented by the Noida Police that the parents had committed the crime – Rajesh Talwar, on finding his daughter and their domestic help Hemraj together, flew into a rage and murdered them. Arun Kumar, the CBI officer who first handled the case, opened his mouth to media after watching Talwar movie. He agrees that the Film ‘Talvar’ is 80% accurate depiction of Aarushi murder case. It is very close to reality.

‘Talvar’ is the adaptation of the 2008 Aarushi murder case, in which her parents Rajesh and Nupur Talwar were found guilty and given life sentence. The film portrays what is considered the loopholes in police investigation – the police “failed” to collect some critical evidence from the crime scene. Forensic samples were never collected and if they had been, then the case could have been solved very easily, Kumar, who believes that Talwars are innocent.

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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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