The Sheena Bora murder has emerged as a Hitchcockian whodunit, generating intense discussion and debate in the press, social media, and sitting rooms across the country.
However, it is only the latest in a series of equally gruesome and sensational murders that rocked the nation. Hindustan Times looks at five cases which made the headlines over the years:
On 16th May 2008, Aarushi Talwar, daughter of a dentist couple, was found dead in the bedroom of her flat in Jalvayu Vihar, Noida.(HT photo)
Aarushi Talwar, a 14-year-old schoolgirl, and her family’s domestic help Hemraj were brutally murdered in a Noida apartment in 2008.
Aarushi’s parents, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar – both dentists – were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by a special court in 2012. The double murder became one of India’s most closely followed criminal cases in recent year.
The recently released book “Aarushi” by journalist Avirook Sen questions the CBI investigation and the trial while arguing that the Talwars are innocent.
Jessica Lall murder case
Jessica Lall was murdered on April 29, 1999, at a Delhi restaurant by Manu Sharma for refusing to serve him a drink
Model and celebrity barmaid Jessica Lall was shot dead in the early hours of April 30, 1999 at a party in Qutub Colonnade restaurant in south Delhi.
Manu Sharma, son of powerful Congress leader Venod Sharma from Haryana, was the primary accused but was acquitted by a court in 2006 because of the lack of evidence against the accused after several crucial eyewitnesses turned hostile.
With extensive media coverage of the case, Delhi Police appealed the acquittal in the high court and the court convicted Sharma and two others in 2006. Sharma was given life imprisonment while Amardeep Singh Gill and Vikas Yadav were sentenced to four years in prison.
In 2007, Sharma appealed against his sentence in the Supreme Court, which upheld his life term.
In 2011, the film “No One Killed Jessica” – starring Rani Mukerji and Vidya Balan – showed how Jessica’s sister and the media came together to get justice.
Tandoor murder case
The tandoor at the Ashok Yatri Niwas where the body of Naina Sahni was burnt (HT Photo)
In July 1995, Congress worker Naina Sahni was killed by her husband Sushil Sharma, a Youth Congress leader. Her body was chopped into pieces and burned in the tandoor of the restaurant Sharma operated. In October 2013, Sharma was given life imprisonment by the Supreme Court.
According to the prosecution, Sharma had suspected his wife was having an affair with a fellow Congress worker. When the pieces of the body were put into the tandoor, the smoke and foul odor in the area drew the attention of a police constable.
Later, human bones were found in the tandoor, leading to Sharma’s arrest.
Nithari serial murders
Relatives of the victims of Nithari killings perform a "havan" for the peace of departed souls, on the 4th anniversary of its expose in Noida.
Eight skeletal remains of children were found in the drain of a house at Nithari in Noida in December 2006, leading to the arrest of two primary suspects – the owner of the house, Moninder Singh Pandher, and his domestic help Surinder Koli.
As more skeletons were recovered by police, the CBI took over the case in January 2007.
In February 2009, Koli was convicted and sentenced to death by a special CBI court for the rape and murder of 14-year-old Rimpa Haldar, one of the several victims.
The Supreme Court stayed Koli’s death sentence in January 2010. In January this year, the Allahabad high court commuted the death sentence to life imprisonment.
Neeraj Grover murder case
Neeraj Grover murdercase co-accused Jerome Mathew escorted by police to the court
Television executive Neeraj Grover was murdered on May 7, 2008 by Kannada actress Maria Susairaj and her then finance Jerome Mathew.
In 2011, Susairaj was sentenced to three years in prison while Mathew was sent to prison for 10 years by a trial court.
Mathew killed Grover after he walked into Susairaj's residence in Mumbai and found the television executive in a state of undress.
Grover’s body was chopped into pieces and moved to another neighbourhood in gunny bags, where they were set on fire.
Mathew was held guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and destruction of evidence. Susairaj was found guilty of destruction of evidence.
Read:Sheena Bora murder case: A complex web of lies and deceit