The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Wife, friend defend Aarushi father

New Delhi, May 24: Dentist Rajesh Talwar’s wife Nupur and colleague Anita Durrani today came out in his defence, describing him as a loving husband and a dear friend and definitely not a murderer.

Both women went live on TV, with Anita denying the alleged affair with Rajesh and claiming that the Talwars and Durranis — all four of them dentists — were like one extended family.

Rajesh was arrested yesterday on the charge of murdering daughter Aarushi — who would have turned 15 today — to prevent her from exposing his alleged affair with Anita.

The high-flying Noida dentist is also accused of killing servant Hemraj the same night, May 15.

The Talwars moved court for bail today and also applied for medical attention for the asthmatic Rajesh. The court will hear both applications on Monday.

“Rajesh is too unwell to be in jail. He has to be moved to a hospital where he will be provided with a nebuliser and oxygen. He is too shocked and can collapse anytime,” said lawyer Ashish Chatterjee.

On TV, Nupur and Anita claimed their families had been extremely close for over 10 years.

“We were a very happy family. Rajesh was very close to his daughter… he adored her. As a mother and a wife, I cannot believe Aarushi was killed by her father,” Nupur said.

Lack of sleep and extreme exertion showed on her face. Nupur has endured almost 70 hours of questioning in the past seven days.

Anita, who claimed the police had not questioned her, also looked jaded. Officers today reaffirmed that both the Durranis had been interrogated.

A visibly distressed Omkarnath Durrani, Anita’s father-in-law, opened the door of the house. He vouched for Anita’s innocence. He said the Talwars often came to their house to attend parties, but they always came as a couple.

“They are like my family. My daughter is almost the same age as Aarushi,” Anita said sitting beside husband Praful, 48.

“All the allegations against us are baseless. My relationship with the Talwars was purely as a family member,” Anita added.

Asked why she had exchanged so many text messages and phone calls with Rajesh — police put the number at 197 in the past one month — Anita replied they were “professional” calls. Besides, she added, Nupur used Rajesh’s phone “a lot”.

For the past six years, the two couples had been working together at the Talwars’ Noida clinic.

Officers today filed an application at a Noida court demanding police custody for Rajesh, although they had not done so yesterday. They wouldn’t say if any new evidence had come up.

The prosecution’s case will bank heavily on the statements of Krishna, the Talwars’ compounder and alleged eyewitness to the “affair” at the clinic, and the person to whom he is said to have confided, Hemraj’s son-in-law Jeevan.

However, prosecution witnesses against well-connected accused — Rajesh has VIP patients — have often been known to turn hostile.

Besides, the sleuths are yet to find the weapon with which the victims’ throats were slit.

Police sources also said that Rajesh’s statement had been recorded under a wrong clause.


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