On Aarushi Talwar, two columns in the Hindustan Times. Shohoni Ghosh says with the number of contradictions that have now emerged, it is time to ask new questions.
On February 9, magistrate Preeti Singh of the Ghaziabad court charged Aarushi Talwar’s parents with murder and the destruction of evidence on the basis of the closure report of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The CBI could not gather enough evidence to chargesheet the Talwars but it left behind a trail of damaging insinuations that the media replayed without hesitation or conscience. Neither the closure report nor the magistrate’s orders were questioned for their glaring contradictions.
No one was at the scene of crime but everyone seems to know what happened. A deranged vigilante murderously assaults Rajesh Talwar as bloggers across the country applaud him. Even the closure report’s graphic reconstruction of events relies on a textual analysis of photographs. On January 13, writer-socialite Shobhaa De tweets: “Is it true Nupur is not Aaroshi’s (sic) biological mother? Will the CBI confirm? If Nupur isn’t her real mom, then who is?” Displaying a shockingly regressive view of parenting, De adds a spin to proliferating rumours. The element of reasonable doubt goes missing. more
Namita Bhandare asks why we remain obsessed with the murder two years ago of this 14-year-old girl.
I am mystified by our ongoing fascination with the murder two years ago of 14-year-old Aarushi Talwar. Part of our morbid interest, I am guessing, stems from the mysteriousness of this double murder. Despite three investigations — though let’s not accuse the Noida police of anything close to an ‘investigation’ — two from seperate CBI teams, we are no closer to the truth about what happened on the night of May 15, 2008, when the ninth grade teenager was killed at home.
First we are told that the servant, Hemraj Banjade, did it. A day later when the body of the unfortunate Banjade was discovered, Noida police say it was the father, Rajesh Talwar, who had done it. Motives keep changing, from incest to wife-swapping and honour killing to ‘characterless’ behaviour. The father is arrested, the father is released. The case is transferred to the CBI, then a second team takes over. The murder weapon keeps changing: it’s a khukri, no it’s a surgical instrument or perhaps it’s a golf club. Every norm of decency is set aside as Aarushi’s postmortem vaginal examination becomes the subject of speculation.
If this is trial by insinuation, then our investigating agencies have succeeded. more