Dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar murdered their 14-year-old daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj Banjade, a special CBI court ruled on Monday – more than five years after the crime shocked the nation.
“The parents are the best protectors of their own children. That is the order of the human nature but there have been freaks in the history of mankind where the father and the mother became the killer of their own progeny. They (Talwars) have extirpated their own daughter who hardly had seen 14 summers of her life and the servant without the compunction of terrestrial terrain in the breach of commandment ‘thou shall not kill’ and injunction of Holy Quran ‘take not life which god has made sacred’,” judge Shyam Lal said in his 204-page verdict.
Rajesh, 49, and Nupur, 48, broke down after they were convicted, but vowed to challenge it in Allahabad high court.
“We are deeply disappointed, hurt and anguished for being convicted of a crime that we have not committed. We refuse to feel defeated and will continue to fight for justice,” a statement on behalf of the couple read.
The couple was taken to Dasna jail.
Arguments on sentencing will be held on Tuesday following which the judge will announce the punishment. The punishment for the couple could go up to a maximum of life term in jail.
Death for murder is given in the rarest of rare cases.
The court also held the couple guilty of destruction of evidence in the murder on the intervening night of May 15 and 16, 2008, days before the birthday of the Class 9 student, at their at their Jalvayu Vihar residence in Noida.
Rajesh was also convicted under section 203 of the Indian Penal Code for filing wrong information with the Noida police about the crime.
The case that saw multiple twists and turns was widely speculated to be an instance of honour killing by the couple owing to their daughter’s ‘liaison’ with Hemraj, 45, who hailed from Nepal.
The verdict drew mixed reactions from people in Jalvayu Vihar.
“It is a clear case of honour killing,” said Jaikishan, a resident of the housing society.
READ: CBI’s claims and Talwars’ defence
Another resident, Sneh, said, “How can parents kill their own daughter?”
Nina Sehgal, former principal of DPS, Noida, who was Aarushi’s teacher, declined to comment on the verdict. “Aarushi was a wonderful person… I still don’t believe a girl like her would be involved in any relationship with Hemraj.”
(With inputs from agencies)
FULL COVERAGE: Aarushi-Talwars murder mystery