South Asia

Indian court queries 'hurry' to shut girl's murder file

Aarushi Talwar
Image caption Schoolgirl Aarushi Talwar was found with her throat slit in her bedroom

A court in India questions the "hurry" by investigators to close the two-year-old inquiry into the notorious murder of schoolgirl Aarushi Talwar.

Last week investigators shut the file on the 14-year-old's killing, blaming a lack of evidence.

She was found brutally murdered in her bedroom in a wealthy Delhi suburb in May 2008. A man servant's body was discovered on the roof a day later.

Aarushi's parents have have always maintained they are innocent.

Dr Rajesh Talwar and his wife Nupur, both prominent dentists, say they will not give up seeking justice for their daughter.

A special court asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to submit more documents in support of its decision to close the murder inquiry, fixing Friday as the next day of hearing.

"What was the hurry [in closing the case]? Where are the documents of the closure report?" the court asked the CBI's counsel on Monday.

The court also rejected a plea by Dr Talwar for a fresh inquiry, saying this was premature.

'False and baseless'

The Indian media has been full of reports saying that the CBI's "closure report" mentions Dr Talwar as the prime suspect in the murder, adding that it cannot charge him in the absence of conclusive evidence and a motive for the crime.

Dr Talwar criticised the CBI on Sunday for making "false and baseless" allegations.

Image caption The murder generated huge interest in India.

His wife, Nupur Talwar, told reporters that the CBI's closure report had "condemned us for life".

"They have put all kinds of false allegations upon us without any evidence. This has been a completely shocking thing for us," she said.

The gruesome tale of murder in the affluent Delhi suburb of Noida generated huge interest in India.

Aarushi was murdered in her bedroom, while her parents were in the house. She was found with her throat slit and a fatal head injury.

A day later the bludgeoned body of their man servant, Hemraj, was discovered on the roof.

As well as Aarushi's father, three other men were arrested during the investigation and later freed for lack of evidence.

They were Dr Talwar's assistant in his dental practice and two servants employed by the Talwar family's friends and neighbours.

The murder weapon has never been found, and while Aarushi's mobile phone was recovered nearly 15 months after her death, its memory had been deleted.

The CBI took over the case from Noida police, who were accused of a botch job.

Noida police were also criticised for some statements they made during their investigation.

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

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

Dr Talwar rejected the allegations. Several women's and children's groups described the police claims as in bad taste.

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