Memories of Aarushi fade as life goes on at Jalvayu Vihar
NOIDA: Nine-and-a-half years later, the memories of 14-year-old girl Aarushi Talwar and domestic servant Hemraj Banjade, have now faded with time. However, neem trees named in the memory of the two are slowly growing in a garden near L32 flat in Jalvayu Vihar, Sector 25, here.
On May 16, 2008, the day Aarushi was found murdered, everyone living in the locality received a shock. In the following days as the investigation unfolded, every nook and corner of Jalvayu Vihar reverberated with several theories behind the deaths. Within a few days, even the nation started pondering over theories behind the crime, following intense media coverage.
“People started making their own theories on the incident.
On the day she was found dead, Talwar’s domestic help, Hemraj Banjade, was missing and he became the initial suspect.
A day later, when his body was discovered on the terrace of their residence, her parents, Dr Rajesh Talwar and Dr Nupur Talwar, became the prime suspects,” said (retired) Commander Narendra Mohan, who has lived in the neighbourhood since 1994. “Police started believing some select rumours and proceeded into the matter,” he said.
However, those who closely knew the family refused to believe the theory that the doctor couple murdered their only child and the domestic help, he added.
Deepali, a relatively newer resident of Jalvayu Vihar, who owns a house in the same block, said, “When we bought a home two years back in this block, we did not knew that Aarushi lived here, but later came to know about it. But the incident is a thing of past now... No one really talks about it, except the news channels.” NEW DELHI: At a flat Azad Apartment in south Delhi, the Talwar family followed the news closely awaiting the fate of Aarushi’s parents, Rajesh and Nupur. It was at this flat that the couple had moved to after the murder, till their arrest in 2013 after being convicted by a special CBI court.
As reporters stood outside the apartment since morning, there was no word from the family. Would they speak to the media? What if the Allahabad High Court too found the couple guilty? Most residents entering the building said, “The relatives do not want to jinx the verdict by giving interviews.”
A few minutes after 2.45pm, when the high court acquitted the couple, there was a message: Aarushi’s aunt Vandana Talwar would brief the media. Vandana, a doctor, is the wife of Rajesh’s elder brother Dinesh.
At 4.16pm, Vandana came down from her third floor flat, along with Aarushi’s maternal grandfather, retired group captain BG Chitnis. The two were escorted by friends and relatives.
“The past nine years were emotionally draining. We are tired. We thank the court for this relief and the injustice meted out to Rajesh and Nupur. We are happy we can now move forward. We want to thank all those who supported us – emotionally, physically. There were many we did not know who continued believing in us. Some even supported financially,” Vandana said.
When asked if they would seek a probe to find out who killed Aarushi, the family refused comment. “You will have to talk to my lawyers. They are ... in a better position to answer this,” she said.
BG Chitnis said, “I have seen them suffer. At this age it was tiring for me to see my daughter Nupur and her husband put behind bars for a crime they did not commit. It was emotionally draining... We are deeply relieved and grateful to God for the verdict. It has been an exhausting journey for us. We have suffered in the last almost 10 years. We are grateful to the high court …. We also thank the hundreds and thousands who did not know us for supporting us.”
The couple are likely to return to this apartment after their release. A security guard said, “It will be a very happy Diwali for the family. But did the court say who killed that little girl?”
I do not know if this is the final verdict in the case or not, but it is definitely the correct verdict. No one can be kept in jail on murder charges without adequate evidence against them.
The tree in the locality planted in memory of Aarushi.