Sometimes I wonder if this is the country I dreamt about, and fought for, writes Aarushi’s grandfather, Group Captain (Retd.) B G Chitnis in an open letter.
I had an angel—Aarushi—as my granddaughter who was lovingly brought up at our (her grandparents) house since she was born in May 1994. I had seen her blossom into a doe-eyed, beautiful, radiant and sparkling young girl who brought into our lives boundless happiness and joy. But the destiny, at its worst, separated us from her just as she turned 14 years old, in a most cruel manner. She was murdered in her own house, in her own bed.
When I saw her lifeless like a doll in her bed, I was numb with unimaginable shock. I could see faces around me with pairs of eyes following me. Some with curiosity, some moist, some with unbelievable blank expression, to fathom what had happened. I saw my daughter Nupur crying copiously and Rajesh, Aarushi’s father, moving around aimlessly, not knowing what was happening around.
The days passed, with a boorish local police trying to investigate the murder in a disinterested manner culminating into the arrest of Rajesh, and subsequently infamous press briefing by IG Meerut causing unprecedented uproar in the media. UP Police had repeatedly warned us not to talk to as it would adversely impact the case but their motive was otherwise. They wanted to keep us away from the media to hide their incompetence.
The media became ferocious with speculative character assassination of Aarushi and her parents. The onslaught was severe. This bizarre circus continued throughout the trial culminating into an astounding judgement declaring Nupur and Rajesh guilty, and sentencing them to life in prison.
When the judgement was pronounced, I literally sank on my knees, eyes overflowing with tears, body and soul completely battered. Destiny had delivered them and us another crushing blow and my world collapsed around me once more.
At 83, I do not think that I would be alive to see them out of jail, but I want to die knowing that people will continue to fight against this huge injustice. I feel completely let down by the institutions, by establishments, be they are police, media, CBI or judiciary.
I am not asking for anything wrong to be done. I am not asking anything more than what is legally due to them. Just as I have protected the country’s honour when I was in the Air Force, is it not their right for a free and fair trial, and restore their honour, or whatever is still left by now? I fought two wars for this country, I served the country with honesty, integrity and utmost dedication, and at this old age, this is what I get in return from every respected institution of this country?
ALL OF US SHOULD PONDER OVER THE FACT THAT IT’S FRIGHTENING EVEN TO THINK WHAT HAS BEEN DONE TO NUPUR AND RAJESH. AND IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANY OF US IN THE SOCIETY.
Sometimes I wonder if this is the country I dreamt about, and fought for.
(This letter was originally posted on the Facebook page Free the Talwars by journalist Shree Paradkar, Aarushi’s aunt and Nupur Talwar’s first cousin.)
(Photo courtesy: www.facebook.com/gatjustice)