Numerous scandals and acts of crime have been brought to light by the media. The media has not always succeeded in bringing about justice, but it surely has done one thing amazingly well – It brings people together for a cause. The unity that a crisis brings about is inspiring. It’s beautiful, how random Indians from random cities get together to stand up for another. We are a remarkable country. Yet injustice happens in this country.
Of all those many cases that the Indian media has made unforgettable, there is one that has intrigued me more than any of the others: The Aarushi Talwar murder case. I’ve been a keen follower since day one . Here are a few reasons why.
1. This is not a case that’s still in the courts, but based on some antiquated incident that happened long before I was born. This is recent. It happened on one unfortunate day in 2008, sometime after my boards, before I left for university.
2. Aarushi was 13, almost 14 – a kid. She wasn’t some rowdy woman involved in a drug/money dispute. She was a charming little girl that was excited about her 14th birthday party. I couldn’t get how someone could be so cruel and callous.
3. The crime was so heinous, so heartless, so merciless that it hooked me on to it for the next many days.
4. A group of girls I made friends with referred to me as “the Aarushi looking girl” the first few months in college.
Initially, there was no uncertainty about who the murderer was, none whatsoever. DUH, It’s got to be the Nepali servant, Hemraj. Why even search the house, let’s just give it the most typical story – “Illegal immigrant and servant rapes and kills pretty daughter of dentist couple”. The world cursed the servant and Nepalis in general. Some even fired their poor Nepali servants. Later, one policeman walked up to the terrace with a cigarette between his fingers and a smirk on his face, simultaneously judging the Talwars’ decision to hire a manservant in spite of having a daughter. Just that moment, his whole world fell apart seeing what lay there in front of him. There was the body of the Nepali servant. He was murdered too. Their clumsiness and the sloppy conjecture got the police into big trouble.
After the initial debacle, the police could no more fool around. By this time, the world started to curse them for their inefficiency. And the ones who fired their servants, cursed the police more. Meanwhile, the media caught up. Every piece of inside information leaked out. The police could no more dally. They had to buck up, and they did.
However, after medical reports ruled out sexual abuse, and after some other tests/investigation ruled out the involvement of certain other suspects, the light turned to the Talwars themselves. The police and the media considered all the typical Indian motives (honour killing, et al). But investigation ruled out some and there was no evidence to corroborate the others. Aaj Tak probably found the story too boring and decided to add some masala. It brought a new suspect into the picture. The police ran their usual rounds of tests and interviews and declared that he was not guilty. The only people left were the Talwars. The slit on Aarushi’s throat, they said, looked like it could not have been done without dexterity. And that made the doctor couple look even more guilty. Aarushi’s dad was arrested and later released on bail. The couple has been making routine trips to jail. The CBI could find enough evidence to neither prove them guilty nor prove them innocent. Her mom is still behind bars.
I still watch every piece of news that’s aired. I read every article that’s published. The investigation still goes on. The progress is meager.
If it really was the Talwars, I have no words.
And if it wasn’t, I don’t think there has ever been a more deviously committed crime.
Either way, it’s an unsafe world. And justice is difficult to find. Let’s just hope she rests in peace.