Apr 11, 2012

Who killed Aarushi? [101/365]

Aarushi.
A name that evokes so much emotion among Indians.

About four years ago, a 14 year old ninth grade student was found dead in her bedroom with her throat slit. Shortly after this, the body of the family's live-in servant was found at the terrace of the apartment they were staying in.

A missing murder weapon, a crime scene that was 'dressed up' and later contaminated, cops with an opinion, parents whose actions appeared suspicious, an over zealous media, lots of sensationalism, a botched investigation and tons of circumstantial evidence. Throw in the kitchen sink and you have the next Bollywood movie.

Untimely death is always unfortunate. A murder gruesome.
Aarushi didn't deserve to die. In the days, weeks and months since her lifeless body was found, speculation about the girl's life and relationship with her parents flew thick in the media. Round the clock coverage about the crime and the infinitely insensitive rumors in the media served as a reminder why we must have stricter rules against journalism that whipped up and guided public opinion. But we cannot really blame the media for the way they salivated over the trial. Our insatiable appetite powered the hyenas.

So who really killed her? Why?
We know the when and the how.
The murderer knew his/her scalpel. The precision at which her throat was slit points the finger of suspicion at her parents, who were well known dentists with a thriving practice.

Going through the usual suspects, the cops staggered and lurched through the investigation. As if an indication of how things work in India, the cops bungled like blind men feeling an elephant.

While the media's attention moved to more worthier causes, we started believing whatever the CBI or the occasional media article told us. Unscrupulous news channels beamed looped montages of salacious details of the young teenager and her parents. What should have been private and sub judice became a 'free for all' freak show. Horribly murdered, her reputation was fair game for the vultures.

Three years after the murder, the CBI determined that the father was guilty. They didn't know how, but inferred that he just had to be guilty somehow. Interestingly, the investigative agency moved for closure soon after this verdict. Things just got murkier.

At the lack of good suspect(s), without the evidence of a credible motive and at the hands of a billion people with opinions, her father has been pronounced guilty. What no one will ask is the 'why'.
Why has the parents been fighting for justice if they are the perpetrators?

India has never been a country that was kind to suspects or victims and there's a good reason why.

This could happen to anyone. It could happen to your child or your spouse. And when that happens, be prepared to be the suspect number one (even if you are innocent) in a country where justice really does not mean anything.

Given the way the cops and the investigating officers have build a perception of doubt against the parents, there is a very grim chance we'll ever get to see the truth. 

Highly Recommended Read:
The Tehelka Report
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