Meghna Gulzar's latest film Talvar, which released last week, seems to have stirred up a hornet's nest that had seemingly been laid to rest for a long time. The film, which is based on the infamous 2008 Noida double murders of 14-year-old Aarushi Talwar and the family’s 45-year-old domestic help Hemraj Banjade, followed by the life-long conviction of her parents Dr Rajesh Talwar and Nupur Talwar, seems to have motivated the officer who led the CBI investigation to speak his mind for the first time.
Then joint director Arun Kumar, who headed the CBI investigation said in an interview to a national television news channel that he believes Aarushi's parents Rajesh and Nupur to be innocent.
Irrfan Khan in a screen-grab from Talvar
In an interview to NDTV, Kumar, who is currently the Additional DG, Central Reserve Police Force, said that he believed that the Talwars were innocent of the crime because the there was no way they could have foreseen subsequent consequences, i.e. that their domestic help Hemraj's body would not be found on the first day of the investigation.
Hemraj's partially decomposed body was found by the Noida police a day after Aarushi's, from the terrace of the same building.
"Forensic samples were never collected, and if they had been, then the case could have been solved very easily," Kumar told the news channel.
He also added that it was his theory that the Talwars' help Krishna killed both Aarushi and Hemraj because Hemraj had objected to Krishna and Rajkumar assaulting the teenaged girl.
Kumar also dismissed the honour killing theories in an interview to The Quint. "In the first 24 hours of the probe, before the UP police discovered Hemraj’s body, Krishna was questioned. He sowed the seed that Hemraj had eyes for Aarushi and that he must have killed her. That Hemraj-Aarushi angle continued even after Hemraj’s body was found. We have records that Nupur Talwar called Hemraj that morning, the phone rang and then it was switched off. The phone call was traced to Jal Vayu Vihar, where Krishna lived."
"I told them that there was no evidence to link the Talwars to the crime," Kumar told the news channel, adding that it was then that the closure report was filed.
The Talwar couple
But Kumar refused to comment on whether the rivalry between the two directors led to the ups and downs in the case — portrayed by Irrfan Khan and Atul Kumar in he film Talvar — or the late CBI officer AGL Kaul's utter confidence in the Talwars' hand in their daughter's murder.
Also Read: 'Talvar' Review: A Gripping Affair