The affidavit filed by the Uttar Pradesh Police in response to a Public Interest Litigation filed by Dr. Rajesh Talwar’s advocate Surat Singh has again thrown open the Pandora’s box. The Central Bureau of Investigation has failed to file its final report within the 90 days assigned for the purpose.
The affidavit filed by the UP Police reads: “There is sufficient evidence collected by the investigating officer of the case which prima facie proves the involvement of Dr. Rajesh Talwar in the double murder.” That should complicate the matter for CBI investigators.
I am not a detective by profession. I am not even a government investigating agency. Nor am I a judge to sit in judgment of this case. But, unlike many other murder cases, the Arushi murder case has created a detective in every drawing room.
I can share with you the observations of a layman from news reports appearing in the media regarding the Arushi murder case which come across as contradictory at times.
Arushi’s body was found in her bedroom. Neither her father Rajesh nor her mother Nupur heard anything during the night of the murder. Noise from the air conditioner was stated to be the reason. Their domestic help Hemraj was suspected to be the culprit.
Hemraj’s body was lying on the terrace and there was a tell-tale trail of blood leading from Arushi’s body to Hemraj’s body. For some strange reason, the investigating officer did not notice it.
In such cases, it is common for the police to detain or arrest servants for interrogation. That did not happen in this case which is very strange. I do not know who killed Arushi but it appears that the police had reasons to believe that the servants were not the killers.
There are mobile phone records showing conversations between Dr. Rajesh Talwar and his advocate and there were newspaper reports saying that Dr. Talwar had told his advocate that he may have to move an application for anticipatory bail.
Some frames were deleted from Arushi’s digital camera. The investigating agencies took a long time to retrieve the images but concluded that there is nothing incriminating in the deleted frames.
Evidences relating to the Arushi murder case were tampered with and destroyed. It is not something that the servants would have done and got away with. It is such a serious offence and nobody has been booked for destroying evidence.
Dr. Talwar was hysterical during interrogations and did not co-operate with the interrogators. He kept exhorting them to hang him.
Once arrested, there were only two ways to bail out Dr. Talwar. The first one was for the investigating officer to admit in writing that the investigation had moved on wrong tracks which no investigating officer would do because it would be a blot on his career record. The second one was to put somebody else in jail so that Dr. Talwar could be bailed out.
The second option was used to bail out Dr. Talwar. So, Dr. Talwar’s office boy Krishna and his friends Vijay Mandal and Raj Kumar were put behind the bars. Everybody including the Central Bureau of Investigation as well as the Uttar Pradesh Police knew that the charges against Krishna and his friends were flimsy and that they would not hold in the court of law. And, everybody knew that they would eventually be released. Now, we have a double murder case and we do not even have a shadow of an accused.
The question is: if it is not Dr. Talwar and if it is also not Krishnam Vijay Mandal or Raj Kumar, who is it? Who killed Arushi and Hemraj—Ghosts? There seems to be a conspiracy to turn this into a blind murder case. If that happens, the faith of a billion people who repose their confidence in the law enforcement agencies and criminal justice system of this country will go for a toss.
This is not the first of such cases. There is another case crying for justice. Nithari where over 50 children were sexually assaulted and murdered is still a mystery.
The PIL was moved by Dr. Talwar’s advocate to restrain the media from “pre-judging” the issue and the police from tarnishing the image of Talwars.
I do agree that the media has no business of pre-judging or influencing the judgment through its coverage. There was too much of media coverage in this case which almost reached harassment levels for the Talwars. This needs to be regulated in some way. But, the media is the fourth column of Indian democracy and its role as watchdog of the nation cannot be denied.