Aarushi-Hemraj case: 'Talwars battled with their hands tied'
'Brave and stoic' is how close friends describe Rajesh and Nupur Talwar as the couple wait for the highly anticipated verdict in the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case by a special CBI court on the Monday. The Talwars stand accused of committing the murders.
New Delhi: 'Brave and stoic' is how close friends describe Rajesh and Nupur Talwar as the couple wait for the highly anticipated verdict in the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case by a special CBI court on the Monday. The Talwars stand accused of committing the murders.
It is a year and four months since the trial began in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, and more than five years since Aarushi, teenage daughter of the Talwars, and Hemraj, their domestic help, were found murdered at their Noida residence.
By the prosecution’s own admission, there is no material evidence, forensic or otherwise, that implicates the Talwars of committing the murders. Built on circumstantial evidence, the prosecution’s case relies on the ‘last seen theory’ suggesting that the victims were last seen alive with the accused.
The defence has challenged the CBI’s theory arguing that there were not four but seven people in the house on the night the crime was committed and has questioned the very basis of the CBI’s case that ‘sudden and grave provocation’is what led to the murders. (Read full report here)
“Even if they acquit me, I am not going to let this go. I am going to make sure that those who did this to my child are brought to justice. I owe it to Aarushi,” Rajesh Talwar told Firstpost in a recent interview. (Read full report here.)
Anxious at what the verdict will bring, friends of Talwars say the legal ordeal of the past year has left them deeply disillusioned and angry.
“Whatever they appealed for was rejected by the courts at every stage. When they asked for additional witnesses, courts denied them permission. Their requests for forensic reports were also denied. They had to battle it out with their hands tied,” says Masooma Ranalvi, a family friend of the Talwars.
Reacting to adverse observations bythe courts, the Supreme Court included, accusing the Talwars of using ‘delay tactics’, Ranalvi said, “They were unfairly accused of delaying the trial. This has been one of the fastest trials that have taken place. In fact, it was the investigating agencies that took four years to complete their investigation. So why are the parents being accused of delaying the process. This is something very strange. If asking for documents, for witnesses is being termed as delay, it is ridiculous.”
Ranalvi’s daughter was Aarushi’s classmate and friend.
“It is beyond me how they’ve withstood so much criticism, so much hatred directed at them, the negative vibes. The tragedy is that their grief has never been visible. The fact of the matter is they have never been able to mourn the death of their child…The day their daughter died, life almost ended for both of them. For them, she was their life. They are no longer part of us, no longer a part of this society. The life they have been living is a life that normal people cannot understand,” says Ranalvi.
Senior lawyer Rebecca John, who leadsthe Talwars’ defence team, describes the experience as having been ‘exacting’. “We’ve seen first-stand how hard it is on people who are facing it, in terms of the losses they have suffered, their personal loss, loss of reputation, dignity, livelihood. It has been a very difficult trial for us,” says John.
Describing the Talwars as ‘extremely brave and stoic’, John says, it is their sense of duty to Aarushi that has kept them going.
Ranalvi agrees. Having stood by them and supported them through the media frenzy, the controversial police investigation, the arrests, the U-turn by the CBI and the court’s decision ordering them to stand trial for the murders, Ranalvi says it was their single-minded pursuit for justice thatsaw them through this ordeal.
“They have been very stoic, they’ve put up a good fight. They were totally dedicated. It was a question of saving the memory of their child, it was a question of clearing their name… the passion and dedication with which they have put into this trial, I only hope it will bear some result,” says Ranalvi.
Appealing to the media to ‘keep calm’, John says, “Which ever the verdict goes, it is a terrible tragedy that has happened. I would expect the media to take it within the boundaries of balance and not to convert it into a circus. It has been a circus for five years. I would want the media to stay calm, to objectively analyse what has happened rather than be ruled by perception.”
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