Just after I finished writing about The White Tiger, I had a look at the front pages of the papers and turned up this gem about a recent child murder in Noida.
Normally, the Indian press has to fear of printing potentially libelous conspiracy theories--see the coverage of Noida's own serial killer for reference--which is why this story caused me to sit up and take notice. First the girl turns up dead, then the police and the papers blame one of the servants, then the servant terms up dead on the terrace of the same house. But the only story to come out of it is that now the police are looking into the possible involvement of "a third man" in the girl's murder. A couple observations: (1) The implication of this slant on the story is obviously that the middle/upper class girl's murder desperately cries out for solution, while that of her servant is only relevant as a clue. (2) Why isn't anybody jumping to the (logical, if not founded in fact) suspicion that the family caught the servant they blamed for the girl's murder and administered their own rough justice? Why the rare instance of the press taking a conservative line, rather than jumping to conclusions for the sake of a salacious story?
Girl murder case takes a new turn
NOIDA: In a bizarre twist to the murder of young Arushi, who was found stabbed to death at her Sector 25 house here on Friday, the body of the suspect Hemraj was found with his throat slit on the terrace of the same house on Saturday.
The 14-year-old daughter of a dentist couple was found lying in a pool of blood in her bedroom with deep stab injuries on her face and head. Her body was found by her father Rajesh Talwar when he went to her room to wake her up in the morning.
The police had suspected the involvement of domestic help Hemraj in the crime as they found him “missing”. A reward of Rs.20,000 had also been announced for providing any information leading to him.
However, the case turned on its head on Saturday when retired senior police officer K.K. Gautam staying in the neighbourhood of the family discovered the brutally stabbed body of Hemraj on the terrace of the same building on Saturday afternoon. The officer had gone to the house of the Talwars to convey his condolences to the bereaved family and apparently his cop instincts took him towards the terrace.
“I had gone to the Talwars to express my condolences and went to the room of Arushi and the domestic help to have a look at the crime scene. I found several clues there and decided to reconstruct the sequence. Following the leads, I reached the terrace of the house and found the door locked. When the lock was broken, I was flabbergasted to find a body lying in a pool of blood. The deceased was later identified as Hemraj,” said Mr. Gautam.
In the wake of the dramatic discovery of the body from the terrace of the same house, the police said the involvement of a third person cannot be ruled out.
“The discovery of the body has completely changed the line of investigation. We are now investigating the possible involvement of a third person. There are three or four possibilities but it would not be right to discuss those at this point in time. The post-mortem report is expected to throw more light,” said SHO (Sector-20) Datta Ram Nauneria, who is investigating the case.
Based on his inspection of the crime scene, Mr. Gautam said that more than one person could be behind the murder.
“The body of Hemraj has been dragged several metres in an attempt to hide it. It cannot be the handiwork of a single man. There must be more than one person involved in the murder. Since there are no blood stains on the staircase, Hemraj must have been murdered on the terrace. The blood stains on the terrace door can help the police reach the assailants. I think the assailants could have also hid the weapon of offence somewhere on the terrace itself,” added Mr. Gautam.