After Friday’s dramatic developments in the Aarushi murder case, Saturday saw the families involved swing into damage control mode even as the police stuck to its stand.
Aarushi’s mother, Dr Nupur Talwar, put up a spirited defence of her husband, Dr Rajesh Talwar, describing him as a caring and loving father.
Talwar’s business partner, Dr Anita Durani — who the cops said was having an affair with him — said the allegation was baseless and the cops had not even questioned her.
Guarded by their lawyers, both women mounted a frontal assault on the police case, insisting that the killer was still out there and it would be a miscarriage of justice if Rajesh Talwar was proceeded against.
But even as the two women were protesting, the cops stuck to their guns, saying it was impossible that the parents could peacefully sleep through the entire mayhem on the night of May 15-16.
They also recalled how Talwar had urged them to look for Hemraj without wasting time at their house on the morning when the body was recovered. And they also asked why he was seeking anticipatory bail shortly before he was arrested if he was innocent. The cops will be relying on call details too to build up their case.
But on Saturday, they kept their counsel and refused to be quoted. Apparently, they had been stampeded into making a premature arrest on Friday because Noida SSP Satish Ganesh, was being transferred when the case was yet to be wrapped up. Now there are many loose ends to be tied up and the crime weapons, besides the mobiles of Aarushi and Hemraj, to be recovered.
Without this evidence, the case will be quite weak, point out lawyers and even other cops, and they may suffer serious embarrassment in court.
So, all eyes will be on Talwar’s bail application, which comes up for hearing on Monday. The same day, the cops are expected to apply for his police remand so that they can take him around, get evidence and make their case foolproof.
On Saturday, they seized Talwar’s laptop even as his lawyers filed two applications in court. The first one sought proper medical facilities for Talwar, saying he was asthmatic. His counsel, Avijit Banerjee, said he needed "an oxygen cylinder and a nebulizer as stress can bring about his asthmatic symptoms."
The other application sought bail for him on the ground that "the police neither have (any), nor have presented evidence whatsoever for the arrest".
The haste with which the police addressed a press conference in Noida and Lucknow on Friday was evident from the lack of coordination.
IG (Meerut Zone) Gurdarshan Singh said in Noida that Talwar wanted to kill Aarushi and had hence eliminated would-be witness Hemraj. Meanwhile, Brij Lal, ADG, Law and Order, Crime and Special Task Force, was telling reporters at the same time in Lucknow that the doctor had killed Hemraj and wanted to eliminate Aarushi since she knew he had taken him up to the terrace.
Whatever be the police compulsions, their suggestion that Aarushi was having a relationship with Hemraj — she was said to have been found by her father in an "objectionable", not "compromising", position — has outraged lawyers, women groups and public opinion in general.
While the legal fraternity sees in it a ploy to build up mitigating circustances for Talwar to get a lighter sentence, women groups are condemning the character assassination of a child who is no longer there to defend herself.
Nupur Talwar, in fact, said 45-year-old Hemraj was trusted by the family and had children of his own. With the cops refusing to comment, one can only speculate where the theory of Aarushi having a relationship with Hemraj came from.