The release of Arushi Talwar’s parents from jail yesterday after they were convicted by the Allahabad High Court earlier this month has once again stirred up a debate about their innocence. We must now admit that the facts of the case have been discussed threadbare and the suspects must be allowed to walk even if the slightest doubts exist.
In this context let us take a look at some of the most infamous yet sensational murder cases that the country has witnessed –
Arushi – Hemraj Double Murder
The 2008 Arushi Talwar – Hemraj murder case is one that still has the nation baffled. 14 year old Arushi was found murdered in her bed. Later the domestic servant and prime suspect Hemraj was also found murdered on the terrace. A botched police investigation and a CBI probe that drew contrary conclusions kept Arusi’s parents Dr. Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in the shadow of suspicion. From honour killings to burglary – every theory has been considered, but no certain result is available as yet.
Sheena Bora Murder Case
The Sheena Bora murder is another that has the nation in its grip over the past few years. Sheena, an executive working for Mumbai Metro One went missing in 2012. The case came to limelight about 3 years later and Sheena’s sister Indrani Mukherjea was arrested. Indrani, the wife of a media mogul Peter Mukherjea, was later found to be the mother of Sheena. Her driver also confessed to executing the murder which had been planned by Indrani.
Another case that remains extremely controversial due to the high profile of those involved is the death of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of leading Indian politician Shashi Tharoor. A public spat between the couple, allegations of anti-national activities and extra marital affairs and a sudden death of Pushkar in a hotel room – all the markings of a gripping mystery. Later the post mortem of Pushkar’s body in AIIMS revealed death by drug overdose and the police claims she was murdered. The case is yet to be solved.
Rizwanur Rehman Murder
Rizwanur Rahman a 30 year old graphics designer from Kolkata was found dead near the railway tracks in Kolkata. It was initially thought of as suicide but what later came to light was that Rahman was secretly married to daughter of wealthy industrialist Ashok Todi. The Todi had allegedly tried to separate the couple and despite popular opinion that the case was not one of suicide, the Todi were charged with evidence tampering and abetment to suicide.
Jessica Lal Murder
The shooting and murder of Jessica Lal, a model turned barmaid working in a famous bar in Delhi by Manu Sharma (alias Siddharth Vashisth), son of Congress MP from Haryana, Venod Sharma, became one of the top cases where media and public pressure forced the justice system to take a second look at a case. Lal was shot by Manu Sharma in 1999 for refusing to serve his friends and him alcohol. Sharma was initially acquitted but after public outcry was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Delhi High Court.
Nithari Serial Murders
The murders had been going on for a while but the case was unearthed in 2006. Over 50 children and young adults went missing around Nithari and the businessman Moninder Singh Pandher and his domestic help Surinder Koli stand accused of their murders. Evidence (of 19 bodies hitherto discovered) point to abduction, rape, torture, murder, and even cannibalism but very little motive to go by. The two have been awarded death sentences in about 6 or the 8 cases.
Tandoor Murder Case
The Naina Sahni murder, better known as the Tandoor murder case, shocked the nation with its gruesome revelations. Naina’s husband Sushil Sharma an influential young politician (Delhi Pradesh Youth Congress president) had killed his wife in a fit of jealousy. In an attempt to conceal the crime he had chopped her up and tried to cook her remains in a tandoor. Sharma was sentenced for life when investigations revealed the nature of the murder.
Sanjay and Geeta Chopra Murders
The abduction of Geeta and Sanjay Chopra by Kuljeet Singh (alias Ranga) and Jasbir Singh (alias Billa), was one of the most sensational but heartbreaking cases of the 1970s. The two Chopra kids (both teenagers) were kidnapped for ransom from an upscale Delhi locality but were later tortured and murdered. The investigation was a long one and the criminals apprehended by the police. They were later sentenced to death and executed for their crimes.