Were the Talwars arraigned to make up for governance deficit?

The Hemraj-Aarushi double murder could have been solved much earlier, and real evidence found, if only the Noida police were not busier with VIP duties – to the point that they dealt with the crime with casual nonchalance that led to destruction of most evidence

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Ajay Singh | November 27, 2013


Aarushi`s parents Nupur and Rajesh Talwar have been sentenced to life for the double murder by a CBI court.
Aarushi`s parents Nupur and Rajesh Talwar have been sentenced to life for the double murder by a CBI court.

Two events that coincided with the Aarushi-Hemraj double murder, with significant bearing on the crime, have been lost sight of in the trial of the case. Just when news of the murder of the teenager flashed on news channels that heady May day in 2008, the Noida police were grappling with two events that were entirely unrelated to the case.

CPI(M) veteran Harkishan Singh Surjeet was being treated at Metro hospital in Noida, with leaders ranging from prime minister Manmohan Singh, LK Advani to Amar Singh paying visits. And a day after the murder, then Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati was scheduled to visit Noida to inaugurate several projects.

Those who know the functioning of the UP police would admit that for the cops nothing is as important as deployment for VIP duties. In this case, one can imagine the extreme level to which the police capacity was stretched, with both the PM and the CM making trips on subsequent days.

The day Aarushi was found murdered, the police looked at the case like that of a teenager’s murder by the family’s help, Hemraj, who was not traceable. Right from the then SSP, Satish Ganesh, to SHO Nanoria, it appeared an open and shut case, but they, and other police personnel in the district, had a more pressing and urging duty to attend to – preparing for Mayawati’s arrival. Even when the case hit the headlines, the priority for Noida police was not to focus on the case but concentrate on other duties.

This was the precise reason why the police were in a great hurry to conduct the early post-mortem and cremate the body at the earliest to quell the commotion resulting from the crime. A day after Mayawati’s visit, I met SSP Satish Ganesh and IG (Meerut zone) Gurudarshan Singh  at their camp office in the irrigation guest house to find out the truth about the case. And I was startled by the casual approach of the police in dealing with the crime.

To my pointed query if there were any signs of criminal assault on the victim, the SSP nonchalantly pointed out that rape was ruled out. He admitted that though there was found to be some secretion on vaginal portion, that was not connected to rape. In his explanation, Ganesh said the body discharges fluid in cases of excruciating pain and extreme happiness. Was there no need to preserve and examine the swab? I asked. He again said that given the circumstances, it was not required. But what would you do if such an examination is required in future and now the body is cremated? I persisted. Ganesh responded (while the IG was sitting there) that such a situation would not arise.

But the situation changed dramatically once Hemraj’s body was discovered on the terrace. I was particularly aghast when I heard IG GD Singh talking about details of the crime scene and presupposing the existence of a relationship between Hemraj and Aarushi. In the subsequent inquiry I heard about preserving the vaginal swab which was initially denied by the SSP of Noida.

Without going into the merits of the investigation, which took curious turns and twists at many stages, it is quite evident that this crime mystery conceals more than it reveals. The investigation does not talk about the cavalier manner in which the investigation was conducted right through the word go. The case could have been solved earlier had the police acted in professional manner, secured the crime scene and proceeded in a manner required for criminal investigation. The police could have cracked the case if they had taken an elementary step of securing the crime scene and searching the terrace and the entire building.

But nothing of this sort was done. The obvious reason was not far to seek. The police were engaged in more pressing duties of managing VIP visits than solving a criminal case. In such a scenario, hypotheses, prejudices and conjectures formed the basis of this investigation. The deficit in governance was sought to be made up by arraigning and convicting the parents by Indian jurisprudence, which conveniently overlooked the malignancy that afflicts the body politic.

The manner in which the justice in the Aarushi-Hemraj case was dispensed with, it also created a perception of gross injustice around the case.

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