Book Review Title: A Mysterious Death of a 13 Year old Girl
Book Title: Aarushi
Author: Avirook Sen
Year of publishing: 2015
Publisher: Penguin Books India
Number of pages: 302
Dr. Rajesh Talwar and Dr. Nupur Talwar-the parents of Aarushi discover the dead body of their daughter in the morning of 16 May 2008. They suspect their man-servant Hemraj to be the murderer of their daughter Aarushi. However, the very next day they discover that the very suspect has succumbed to the same fate as that of their daughter in their home.
The fact that two murders at the same time under the same roof without the slightest knowledge of the Talwars raised many questions in the eyes of the public, the police force and the CBI. If it was not Hemraj, then who killed Aarushi? Could Talwars be the murderer? If they did kill both the victims, what could have been their motives?
Thus, goes the whole process of investigations involving various characters from servants to family to relatives and the acquaintances. With subsequent investigation, first Dr. Rajesh Talwar gets arrested for the murder of his daughter. Then, even Nupur Talwar gets jailed. The Talwars are accused of ‘Honour Killing.’ Did they really kill their only daughter? Did they kill their man-servant so as to save the honour of their status because their daughter had sexual relationship with the servant?
The entire story of investigation and with different witnesses giving different versions of their statements each time they were interrogated is filled with mystery. For instance report of the nacro analysis test on other witnesses such as Krishna, Raj Kumar and Vijoy reveals that they were present with Hemraj at the time of murder of Aarushi. Krishna says Rajkumar killed Aarushi while Raj Kumar says Krishna killed her. The test also reports Krishna saying that they first raped Aarushi turn wise and that they killed her when she tried to fend for herself.
The way the story about the investigations is narrated takes us through some chilling moments and each time we are left to wonder who could be the real murders. Or is it the CBIs who were purposefully playing down on the evidences just so they were bent on implicating the Talwar Couple. Avirook Sen brings to light many evidences which could have been implicating for people involved in the murder but he points out that these evidences were tampered with and never used in the courts.
Even when the book ends with the story of the Talwars being in jail and their plea for justice left for an indefinite time, we the readers are left with the question as to who could be the real murders. We are also left to wonder whether the justice system of India has implicated an innocent couple because some influential people and CBI wanted them behind the bars.
As I go through each chapter I am like ‘is this a work of a fiction? Unfortunately, this is a real story of a 13 year old girl who lost her life when she was about to turn 14 a few days before her gruesome murder. The author Avirook Sen with his journalistic background has detailed every process of the investigation in this book. However, the mystery still remains.
Aarushi is a story of a gruesome murder of a 13 year old and how she was left to humiliation after her death which personally I would not wish for any parents and a child.
If not for the repetition of certain versions of the investigative story, the book would have made for a real thriller.
NOTE: Thank you Ma’am Deki Tshering for the book.