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How Dr Jekyll turned Mr Hyde

Dr Rajesh Talwar succeeded in misleading police for a week but the very steps he took to deflect suspicion eventually nailed him, reports Ravi Bajpai.
Hindustan Times | By Ravi Bajpai, Noida
UPDATED ON MAY 23, 2008 11:48 PM IST

On hindsight, Dr Rajesh Talwar was a suspect right from the time police stepped into his flat on the morning of May 16, the day his daughter Aarushi was found dead, police said. A dairy owner had called up Talwar’s slain domestic help Hemraj on his mobile phone a few minutes before Aarushi’s murder came to light, asking why he hadn’t come to take milk that day.

Talwar received this call, that was made at about 6 a.m. and lasted for 23 seconds, and said Hemraj wouldn’t come. “How did Talwar know Hemraj hadn’t done this daily task that fateful day?” said an officer.

Talwar did more to attract suspicion, though. After ‘discovering’ the murder, Talwar didn’t immediately inform the police but chose to first call his relatives. When the police eventually did reach the crime scene, a ‘sentimental’ Talwar asked cops to stay away from the grieving family that was in shock.

“Instead, he was quite cooperative in providing Hemraj’s passport details and home address and asked us to trace him. This was quite suspicious,” said Inspector-General Gurdarshan Singh.

Talwar then went on to drop hints. He immediately asked people to remove the blood-soaked mattress and bedsheet on which Aarushi’s body was found and got it dumped on the rooftop.

“A common stairs lead to two doors facing each other, which open onto the rooftop. Behind one locked door lay Hemraj’s body. Talwar had asked people to use the other door to ensure people don’t smell the decomposed body,” said an officer.

The strong three-tier security at the Talwar flat also led the police doubt the role of an outsider. A person has to cross three doors to enter the flat. Talwars’ maid found the second door in this sequence latched from outside. After the two were murdered, Talwar spoke to friends and family till midnight, said IG Gurdarshan, but told police that he was asleep around this time. Even if he was asleep, how did he miss the commotion going on in the adjoining room, barely six feet away, wondered cops.

“There’s no way you can miss the noise in such a peaceful colony. The servant was killed on the rooftop and a cooler cover placed to hide his body, but Talwar didn’t hear anything,” said IG Gurdarshan.

Moreover, Talwar later contradicted his disclosures during interrogation, police said.

Relatives, former domestic helps and Aarushi’s friends told police about Talwar’s extra-marital affair and that both Aarushi and Hemraj knew of it.

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