The notorious Indian case of Aarushi Talwar’s unsolved murder has baffled the country for over 15 years now. This Noida double murder case saw the killings of Aarushi, 14, and the family’s live-in domestic help, Hemraj Banjade. The teen’s parents, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, found her body with her throat slit and a fatal head wound on May 16, 2008. The following day, Hemraj’s body was found on the roof, as per BBC.

Soon enough, the case garnered significant media attention because of the twists and turns, the potential suspects, and a lack of evidence. At one point, even the CBI worked on the case and wanted to close it before declaring that “only parents could have killed Aarushi.” After a months-long trial, this resulted in the couple’s conviction in November 2013. Four years later, an Allahabad high court set them free.

Aarushi Talwar’s unsolved murder case, explained

According to Firstpost, Aarushi Talwar was 14-year-old when her parents found her dead in their home in Noida, Delhi, on May 16, 2008. The Class 9 student at Delhi Public School (DPS) student died of a slit throat and a fatal head wound. Her dentist parents, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, suspected their domestic help, Hemraj, until his body was found on the terrace. Hemraj, a Nepal citizen, died similarly.

Suspicion soon shifted towards the parents based on circumstantial evidence. Some even questioned that the killer(s) murdered their daughter in the room right next to theirs at night. They claimed to have heard nothing because of their room’s defective and loud AC and only found her body the following morning.

However, the outlet reported that retired deputy superintendent KK Gautam, who found Hemraj’s body on the roof, believed otherwise. Gautam claimed that Hemraj had visitors on the night of the killing. However, he later changed his narrative, alleging that the Talwars had asked him to manipulate the post-mortem report.

Later, when the local police failed to prove consequential to the case, the federal Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took over. The CBI investigated three other prime suspects besides Aarushi Talwar’s parents. These suspects were Krishna, an assistant at Rajesh’s clinic, Vijay Mandal, who worked for the family’s neighbors, and Rajkumar, who worked at a family friend’s house.

Reportedly, all three went through respective narco-analysis tests during which they pointed fingers at each other. While it was clear that all three were present at the Talwar house on the night of the killings, there was no direct evidence connecting them to the murders. They never faced any charges or convictions.

India Today reported that there were three probes over the years. The initial investigation attempted to paint the parents as guilty. Police declared the incident to be an honor killing and shamed Aarushi’s parents. They initially claimed that Rajesh Talwar murdered his daughter and the house help after finding them in an “objectionable” position. They soon faced criticism for the same and changed the narrative, suggesting that Rajesh killed the girl when she learned of his extra-marital affair and killed Hemraj since he was the witness.

The second probe—the first CBI probe—focused on the three house helps, Krishna, Vijay Mandal, and Rajkumar. The CBI arrested the potential suspects but never filed a chargesheet due to lack of evidence. A third probe—the second CBI probe—declared that these three were not the culprits. In fact, the evidence failed to prove the same beyond doubt despite the narco-analysis and polygraph tests.

CBI then moved to close the case. However, a court rejected their filing and ordered a case against Rajesh and Nupur Talwar. The couple were tried and convicted in the murders of Aarushi Talwar and Hemraj Banjade. They received respective life sentences in November 2013. Four years later, in October 2017, an Allahabad high court freed the couple. NDTV reported that the duo went to Nupur Talwar’s parents’ home in Jal Vayu Vihar following their release and are reportedly staying there

The sensationalized double murder case remains unsolved to date.

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