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Talwars find online support, a new campaign appeals to CBI’s parent ministry

New Delhi: Rallying public support for Rajesh and Nupur Talwar — who are facing trial for the murder of their teenage daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj — remains a priority for friends and family of the dentist couple.

After launch of a website and campaigns on Facebook and Twitter, the latest effort is an online signature campaign addressed to the Ministry of Personnel, the parent ministry of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Posted on popular online social movement platform change.org, the petition was started by Shiba Mehra, who has been following the case for the last four-and-a-half years and is known to the Talwars.

Mehra, who is based in the US, says the petition is an attempt to draw the attention of the government to lapses in the investigation and to prevent such incidents from recurring.

“I genuinely feel concerned as this case raises serious questions on the agencies which are normally supposed to uphold the law. If these agencies are bent upon harassing the innocent and letting the guilty get away, whom can an ordinary law abiding citizen turn to, to get justice?” says Mehra.

Asked whether there was a specific demand being made to the ministry, Mehra said it was to “hold an impartial enquiry into the findings of the CBI investigating officer who filed the closure report.”

A screengrab of the online petition for Arushi.

It may be recalled that in December 2010 the CBI had filed a closure report on the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case that concluded that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to book Rajesh Talwar for the murders. (Read report here.)

A special CBI judge, however, rejected the closure report and summoned the couple to stand trial for the murders instead. Multiple efforts by the couple to challenge the trial court’s order and seek a re-investigation of the case came to naught after the Supreme Court rejected Nupur’s petition and ordered the dentist couple to stand trial.

The trial began at a special CBI court in Ghaziabad in June. Read more on that here.

Given that the case is in court, what amends, if at all, does Mehra expect to be made at this point?

“It can be ensured that all available records with the CBI (including first and second team) are disclosed in the court proceedings and are not allowed to be suppressed or manipulated,” says Mehra.

Titled ‘Justice for Aarushi and Hemraj’, the petition has gathered a little over 1000 signatures so far and aims to gather upto 5000 supporters. Read the petition here.