independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Couple guilty of killing daughter

Rajesh Talwar, convicted of murdering his daughter, holds his face after being attacked outside court (AP)

A couple in India have been convicted of killing their 14-year-old daughter and their housekeeper, in a murder mystery that has gripped the country for five years.

Arushi Talwar, was found in her bedroom in suburban New Delhi with her throat cut in 2008.

In the hours after the murder, police named the Talwars' missing Nepali housekeeper, Hemraj, as the prime suspect and sent officers to his native Nepal to look for him.

But the housekeeper was not missing - his body was discovered lying on a terrace of the home. It had been there the whole time, leading to accusations that police bungled the investigation.

Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, both dentists, will be sentenced on Tuesday. They could face the death penalty. In a statement, they said they were "hurt and anguished" by the verdict and would appeal.

"Everybody turned against us," Vandana Talwar, a family member, said, blaming the media, police and the court following a case that has lasted more than five years. "We have only the truth on our side."

The Talwars came under suspicion early on, and police said the manner of the girl's death suggested she was killed with surgical precision, a clear nod to the Talwars' medical profession.

"The way in which Aarushi's throat was cut points out that it was the work of some professional, who could be a doctor or a butcher," a police spokesman said in 2008.

Police have offered several possible motives, including an "honor" killing.

Although they questioned other possible suspects, the case stalled. In 2011, the Talwars demanded a fresh investigation.

The couple, who had been free on bail, were arrested and put in jail soon after the guilty verdict.

-AP

Press Association

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