Worse than a daughter’s death

A year ago while researching his book India: A Portrait, Patrick French had spent time with Rajesh and Nupur Talwar trying to reconstruct the events of the night their daughter, Aarushi was murdered. An excerpt from the book in Open magazine.

For more than two years, the Aarushi Talwar case has rarely been out of the news. On 25 January, while petitioning a court in Ghaziabad against the way the CBI was handling the investigation into the murder of his daughter, Dr Rajesh Talwar was attacked by a man with a cleaver. He received serious injuries to his face, cutting a facial artery and nerve. While shielding himself, he also received deep wounds to his hands. The attacker – who has been widely hailed on the Internet as a hero – said he had targeted Dr Talwar ‘for becoming popular, for being featured in the media.’

Given all the things that have been said about the case on television and in the press – with some reports based on completely inaccurate information – it was not surprising that a deranged vigilante should choose to attack Rajesh Talwar. As the Talwars’ lawyer, Rebecca John, told me: ‘I have held the media responsible for creating this atmosphere around the case, and I have appealed for calmer days. Like you, I am involved in this case because I genuinely believe that a grave injustice has been done.’ Dr Talwar has told me in the past that the harassment he was receiving from the media and the CBI was so intense that he did not see how he could carry on. The only thing that kept him going, day by day, was his work as a dental surgeon. Now, his hands are so badly damaged that he may never be able to work again. more

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