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Doc held for killing daughter, servant

Dentist Rajesh Talwar has been arrested for allegedly murdering his daughter and domestic help in a fit of rage. Dramatis personaeMystery of the locked door
Hindustan Times | By Tushar Srivastava, Ravi Bajpai and Kapil Datta, Noida
UPDATED ON MAY 24, 2008 11:47 AM IST

High-profile dentist Rajesh Talwar has been arrested for murdering his domestic help and his daughter, in that order, on the night of May 15 and May 16 in a fit of rage, the police said on Friday.

"Dr Talwar returned home from a dinner around 11.30 pm,” said IG Gurdarshan Singh, "and found the two — daughter Aarushi Talwar and domestic help Hemraj in an objectionable position."

The Talwars said they have been framed.

Aarushi, the daughter of high-profile couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar — both dentists with the Capital’s who’s who among their patients — was found dead in her room on May 15 and Hemraj the day after.

Since the murder was first reported, there was an outpouring of sympathy for the couple, with patients recalling how gentle and caring they were. Today, there was disbelief, shock and revulsion.

Aarushi would have turned 15 on Saturday.

The teenager and the domestic help had come “close”, the police said, while discussing father Rajesh Talwar’s “illicit relations” with business partner and fellow dentist Anita Durani. “This upset Talwar a lot,” Singh said.

A Noida police statement said the doctor planned the murders after finding them together that night. He intended to kill Aarushi, but chose Hemraj first because he didn’t want witnesses.

Talwar sent Hemraj to the terrace saying he wanted to speak to him. He then locked Aarushi in her room and went up with a hammer and a scalpel. He hit Hemraj on the head with the hammer and then cut his throat. He put a cooler lid on the body to conceal it, locked the terrace door and came down and had a drink (a whisky).

Then he went into Aarushi’s room. The police said, “He killed her in just the same way – hit her on the head with the hammer and cut her throat.”

Next morning, Talwar first spoke to some acquaintances before calling the police, Singh said, pointing to the first of many inconsistencies in the father’s statement that led to his arrest.

The police refused to say if more arrests are likely. Singh said, "Investigations are still." There were reports that the police were questioning a female colleague/friend/ business partner of the doctor.

But Singh's announcement of the arrest was not as simple as the above account. It was convoluted, confused and full of contradictions - yet another evidence of Noida police's shoddy handling of the case from day one.

On the first day - May 16 - after being told of the murder of Arushi, the police surveyed the flat and announced that Hemraj was the prime suspect as he was missing. In fact, he was lying dead on the roof.

Every day since, the confused investigators floated one wild story after another - none having any bearing on the case. A former domestic help found himself under the scanner for a bit, for instance.

Singh began the press conference calling Arushi "Shruti" several times, even after being corrected. He then launched into a long-winded explanation of how and why Talwar became a suspect. But he said nothing about the motive till reporters asked.

And then the attempt was to portray this as a "fit of rage" thing when in actuality it was planned by the doctor, who even had a drink in between.

At the end of the announcement, he had left more questions unanswered than he had answered. He spoke about Talwar's "illicit relations" but did not name Durrani. He wasn't very clear on what he meant when he said "Talwar found his daughter and the domestic help in an objectionable position" and not, he insisted, "in a compromising position".

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