India

Parents charged with Aarushi Talwar murder

Aarushi Talwar
Image caption The mystery of 14-year-old Aarushi Talwar's death is one of India's most notorious unsolved murders

The parents of murdered Indian schoolgirl Aarushi Talwar have been charged with her murder.

Rajesh Talwar and Nupur Talwar, both dentists from an affluent Delhi suburb, were also charged with destruction of evidence. They deny all the charges.

The murder of Aarushi and a domestic helper in 2008 shocked the country.

In January, the Supreme Court ordered them to stand trial, upholding a lower court's ruling that there was enough evidence to warrant prosecution.

In upholding that ruling, the court dismissed a challenge lodged by the Talwars.

Dr Nupur Talwar has been in jail since 30 April after a court rejected her plea for bail.

A lawyer for the prosecuting agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation [CBI], told reporters on Thursday that the District Sessions Court in Ghaziabad town, near Delhi, had accepted all the CBI arguments and charged the couple.

The CBI says circumstantial evidence points to the parents' involvement in Aarushi's death, but there is a lack of hard evidence.

Throat slit

The gruesome tale of murder in an affluent Delhi suburb has generated huge interest in India.

Aarushi, 14, was murdered in her bedroom at the family home in Noida district while her parents slept.

She was found with her throat slit and a fatal head injury.

A day later, the bludgeoned body of their male domestic helper, Hemraj, was found on the roof.

Aarushi's father was arrested and later freed. Three other men, Dr Talwar's dental assistant and two servants employed by the family's friends and neighbours, were also questioned and released.

The CBI took over the inquiry from Noida police, whose investigation was widely criticised. Noida police were also reprimanded for statements they made during their investigation.

Days after the murder, a senior police officer told the media that Aarushi had been killed because she had discovered her father's alleged extramarital relationship with another dentist.

The same police officer also suggested the teenager could have been killed because Dr Talwar had objected to her close relationship with the murdered servant.

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