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Who killed Aarushi Talwar?
Aarushi Talwar - a pretty, smart, bubbly, 14-year-old teenager, and the only daughter of Noida-based dentist couple, Dr. Rajesh and Dr. Nupur Talwar - was shockingly discovered dead, with signs of a blow on her forehead and her throat slit, in her own bedroom on the morning of 16 May 2008. It was also found that their domestic servant, Hemraj aka Yam Prasad Banjade of Nepal, aged 45years, who had been working and staying with them since last eight months, was missing.

At first, it seemed that the missing servant had killed the girl and absconded to his native place in Nepal, and so the Noida Police was called and an FIR was registered against the servant. At that time, two friends of Rajesh Talwar, who had reached there on hearing the news of the girl's murder, noticed marks like wiped blood stains on the staircase leading to the Talwars' terrace, and also on the door, which, it was said, was locked for the first time that day.

The same was brought to the notice of the police, who asked Talwar for the key of the lock. However, Rajesh Talwar did not produce it; instead, he urged the police to go and look for him at all the bus stops and railway stations before he fled to Nepal. A reward of Rs 20,000 was also announced on his head.

However, no news of him was received that day. So the usual formalities of sending the body of the murdered girl for post mortem at the government hospital, and taking her for cremation, were done on that day. It was estimated that the time of her death was between 12.00 (midnight) and 1am.

It was also mentioned that the vaginal orifice was wide open and there was a whitish discharge on its wall, which looked like something introduced inside for cleaning the private parts; but there was no evidence of force or struggle, and there were no sperms found in the vaginal swabs, so it could not be said whether she had been raped. The hymen showed an old tear, which meant that she was not a virgin.

The next day, when the parents had gone to the cremation ground to get the ashes of Aarushi for immersion, Rajesh Talwar's brother, Dr. Dinesh Talwar came to his residence with a retired Dy. Superintendent of Police, KK Gautam, to his house, for offering condolences, but on seeing that Rajesh was not there, Dinesh requested Gautam to get the terrace door opened. Accordingly, Gautam called the local police and some higher police officers, who broke open the door. On opening the door, it was found to everyone's surprise that the missing servant Hemraj, was lying dead on the terrace, with a blow mark on the back of his head and his throat slit in the same way as Aarushi’s!

The case was first investigated by the Noida Police, and on 29 May 2008, the inquiry was handed over to the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) with the intervention of the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, on the request of the Talwars. The first team went to the place of murder and collected samples for forensic investigation, and arrested three servants, including one working at the Talwars' clinic, and other two, of their neighbors and friends. They also arrested Rajesh Talwar as a suspect. The Talwars again complained and got the first team of CBI replaced by a second one.

The second team also leveled a charge against the parents of the girl as the prime suspects, and got the servants acquitted of the charge of murder, after confining them to jail and doing many tests on them. The Talwars were also arrested and confined to the Tihar jail one after another, and subjected to several tests. However, even after four-and-a-half-years of the murder, there is no clue about the murderer/s of Aarushi and Hemraj, not even about the motive of the murders.

There are two surmises- One, there was tension between Aarushi and Rajesh Talwar due to his supposed affair with his business partner Anita Durrani, because of which there used to be frequent fights between them. It is believed that Hemraj used to tell her about the goings on between her father and the lady, which sparked off the clashes, on account of which, he too was killed along with her.

Another reason given is that night Rajesh Talwar came upon Aarushi and Hemraj in an ‘objectionable, but not compromising position’, seeing which, he lost control over his mind and killed both of them. His wife, Nupur, was first accused only of helping him to destroy the evidence of the murder, but subsequently, she too has been charged with taking part in the murder of her daughter and servant Hemraj.

With much of the evidence destroyed before the arrival of the police, and some of the remaining missed or lost by the Noida Police, who failed to take the necessary precautions during the investigation, surmises and charges can only be made on the basis of circumstantial evidence, but unfortunately, no penalty can be imposed on the couple on that basis alone.

Nevertheless, as this case has invoked interest in the whole nation, an effort has been made here to draw a plausible conclusion on whatever evidence is available, and it has to be said with regret, that like the CBI, I too feel that Rajesh Talwar has committed the murders, on the following grounds.

There were only four persons in the house on 15.5.2008 night, the Talwar couple and the two victims. The watchmen said nobody had visited their house that night. The landlord and family of Krishna, Rajesh Talwar's compounder, told the police that he was sleeping in his house all night, till the police went to his place on the morning of the murder. Puneet Tandon, Talwar's Neighbour, also said that Vijay Mandal, his servant, and another suspect, was sleeping in the building garage that night. Likewise, the Durranis, business partners of the Talwars, vouched on behalf of their servant Rajkumar, the third suspect - he was at their place till after midnight.

It takes about 20 minutes to reach Talwar’s residence from their place, after which the time was too short for anyone to go to their house at that unearthly hour, kill two people and then take one up to the terrace and lock him up there. The Forensic Laboratory also reported the absence of DNA of any of the servants in the samples collected from the Talwar's flat, L-32, Jalvayu Vihar, Noida.

Umesh Sharma said that he saw both Aarushi and Hemraj alive at 9.50pm on 15 May 2008, when he had gone to leave Rajesh Talwar, and give his bag and car keys to Hemraj. Nupur said she saw her daughter alive for the last time at about 11.00-11.15 pm when she went to her bedroom to put on the router of her computer for Rajesh.

Anmol, Aarushi's friend also stated that he had spoken to Aarushi on the Talwar's landline at around 11.30pm, as Aarushi's mobile phone had stopped responding since their last talk at 9.10pm (and her phone as well as that of Hemraj has gone missing since then). However, his subsequent phone call on the landline at about 12pm (midnight) was not attended to by either Aarushi or anyone else in the house. And no one saw Aarushi alive thereafter, but Rajesh Talwar was in her room, working using her Internet till 12.08 hours, and left her room thereafter to go to sleep, leaving her room door unlocked. That means that no one could have come to his house without his knowledge till that time or for some time thereafter, for he could not have fallen fast asleep the very next moment after he retired to his room. All the servants seem to know that Aarushi's parents used to lock her room before they went to sleep every night, and the key used to be kept under Nupur's pillow. Who would have thought that the room would be unlocked even after 12.10 or so, and come over to the Talwar house on that particular night?

There are, however, some reports which say that Krishna went there that night to give Hemraj the Khukri he had asked for, as he was afraid for his life for past few days, while some say he went there on 14th night. Whenever it was, why would Hemraj ask him to bring the Khukri if he was at danger from him? So, the last person in the house to see Aarushi alive was Rajesh Talwar.

The Internet connection was on till 3: 43am. And the time the parents wrote down in the register with the priest at Haridwar, where they had gone for immersion of Aarushi's ashes was 2.00 am, whereas the time given to the Noida police was 6.00 am. The time as per post mortem report became known to the police only 3-4 days after the death, so it is questioned how the Talwars could give 2 00 am on 16.5.08 in advance, if they were fast asleep at that time, so that they did not know who came to their house and committed the murders that night. Somebody had also made an effort to change the passwords of computers of Aarushi and Rajesh Talwar (but not Nupur's) before they were seized by the police on 19.5.08.

Many of the photographs taken by Aarushi at 10.10pm on the murder night with a camera gifted to her for her upcoming birthday were deleted before the investigation.

Under these circumstances, it is pertinent to ask whether Rajesh Talwar can prove, in view of Anmol's unattended phone call to Aarushi at 12.00pm, that Aarushi was well and alive till about 12.10, when he left her room that night, as the time of her death, as per the post mortem report, is between 12.00 (midnight) to 1.00 am on 16.5.2008. The death of Hemraj is also said to have occurred around the same time. It is pointed out by the Forensic experts of the CDFD (Centre for Diagnostics of Fingerprints and DNA), Hyderabad, that Aarushi's DNA was found on the clothes of Rajesh Talwar, and now it's added, on Nupur's clothes too.

It is also mentioned that male DNA was found in the samples of blood stains on the right wall of Aarushi's room and the outer side of the door, as well as on the doormat, which did not match with that of any of the servants! There were also, blood stains of Aarushi and Hemraj, besides unidentifiable fingerprints on the Whisky bottle of Rajesh Talwar, which, I think could be of Hemraj, whose fingerprints have probably not been matched with those on the bottle.

About the murder of Hemraj, there is a doubt of his throat having been slit by someone else, perhaps a hitherto unidentified accomplice, as his blood has not been found on Rajesh's clothes. The blood stains with Hemraj's DNA on the bottle match with those on the staircase and a palm imprint on the terrace wall.

At this stage, the reports of the number of phone calls made by Aarushi and Anmol to each other, and by Rajesh Talwar to Anita Durrani, or the speculation about the motive behind the double murder, are no more important. The prime question is- who Killed Aarushi and Hemraj.

The court proceedings about the case have come to a practical standstill, so it looks that the case too has been shelved as ‘not possible to solve’. However, this article has presented some more angles to it than what have been published till now.

All said and done, the concluding thought of all people concerned is, 'Poor Aarushi'! As to Hemraj, he is already a forgotten entity, as there is hardly anyone talking about him now, except his wife! That is how it is- the value and importance of a person's life in this country depends on whether he/ she is rich or poor!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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