The Aarushi-Hemraj whodunit: Who cares any more?


New Delhi : Who killed Aarushi Talwar and her domestic help Hemraj? There are still no answers to that all important obsessive question that had hogged headlines and drawing room conversations for weeks, but suddenly no one seems to care.

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The sensational murder of the teenage daughter of dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in their Noida home on May 16 and the discovery of Hemraj’s body a day later had gripped the nation. The arrest of Rajesh Talwar for complicity in the murder of his daughter a week later sealed the story on the front pages of newspapers and as prime time news on TV for all of 50 days till he was released from jail.

Interest in the case has fizzled out just as quickly. Once the dentist was out and the three suspects — Krishna, Rajesh Talwar’s medical assistant, and domestic helps of the neighbourhood Rajkumar and Vijay Mandal — were lodged in jail the case seemed to have been forgotten by all.

The whodunit didn’t seem to matter after all.

“These three men – Krishna, Rakjumar and Vijay – are poor and innocent. Till the time Rajesh Talwar was behind the bars, the interest in the case was very high. But now with these hapless men in jail, no one seems to be interested any more although the fact remains that they have not yet been proved guilty,” F.C. Sharma, Krishna’s lawyer, told IANS.

Ragini Sharma, a Delhi-based social activist, said the turnaround towards the case was a reflection of the mindset of the people.

“Till the time a high profile person and that too the father of the young victim was seen as a suspect in the twisted case, it generated a lot of interest amongst the people. To add to that, the media played up the story so much that it was impossible not to notice the case.

“However, as soon as the father was released and three helps were arrested, the interest dwindled. It seemed like any other murder case thereon and people simply forgot about it.”

Sharma, however, didn’t blame the public for their attitude.

“You can’t blame the people or the media. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is yet to file a chargesheet in the case and is nearing the Sep 10 deadline, made it seem that Rajesh Talwar was the wronged man and that the case was actually solved with the arrest of the three suspects,” Sharma told IANS.

Talking about the suspects’ relatives, Sharma said they were doing all they could to keep their spirits high and not to lose hope.

Kamini Mehra, a homemaker, admitted to have lost track of the case with Rajesh Talwar’s release.

“After Rajesh Talwar was named as a suspect in the murder, all kinds of questions were raised in the media and amongst the children. My kids, who are aged 10 and 12, used to be glued to the TV and kept asking me if a father can actually kill his own child,” Mehra said.

“It was all a very complicated scenario and I had to be very careful while handling such questions. With Talwar’s release, all those questions were taken care of. I was just glad that the foundation of faith that the kids have on family was not shaken,” she added.

Rakesh Roy, a student, put it this way: “They say that the public’s memory is short and that Aarushi was kept alive in our minds for so long was actually a feat. I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but just look at the torrent of news that washes over us every day.

“The Amarnath issue, floods in Bihar and Assam, violence in Orissa – every day it’s a new issue that occupies our minds”.

Clearly, in this competition for mindspace ordinary people like Krishna, Rajkumar and Vijay are crowded out. They don’t have a presence in mainstream society, and no voice either.