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Oct 13, 2017 05:27 PM IST | Source:

No one killed Aarushi and Hemraj: Saga draws parallels with past murder mysteries

The Aarushi Talwar murder case is similar to high-profile incidents in the past that have left the public, police and courts both confused and horrified.

The Allahabad High Court on Friday acquitted Rajesh and Nupur Talwar for the murder of their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj Banjade in 2008, saying the prosecution had failed to prove the couple's involvement beyond reasonable doubt.

With the Talwars being let off, the mystery of who killed Aarushi and Hemraj has resurfaced once again, lending further intrigue to a case that has seen many twists and turns over the last nine years.

The double murder has attracted intense media scrutiny since 14-year-old Aarushi was first found dead in her Noida home on May 16, 2008 and the mystery surrounding the incident and the motive of the murder have baffled the public.

The saga draws parallels with prominent cases of the past that have left the nation both confused and horrified. Here's a round-up:

Jessica Lall murder case

Jessica Lall, a model from Delhi, was shot dead in the early hours of April 29, 1999 at the Tamarind Court restaurant by Manu Sharma, son of Congress leader Binod Sharma.

Lall was killed after she refused to serve alcohol to an inebriated Sharma, who was accompanied by his friends - Tony, Vikas Yadav and Alok Khanna.

After the murder, Sharma absconded while two of his friends were arrested. On May 6, 1999, Sharma surrendered.

In August that year, a chargesheet was filed wherein Sharma was named as the main accused. In 2006, Sharma and eight other involved were acquitted by a lower court leading to a huge public outcry.

The case was reopened again and in December 2006, Sharma was charged with murder and destroying evidence. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Sharma appealed against the judgment to Supreme Court. However, the top court upheld the sentence given to Sharma in 2010.

Nitish Katara honour killing

In February 16, 2002, Nitish Katara was abducted and murdered by Vikas and Vishal Yadav from a wedding over his alleged affair with Yadav's sister Bharti.

Katara's burnt body was recovered near Hapur crossing in Bulandshahar, Uttar Pradesh. On March 31, police filed the chargesheet and in April, Vikas and Vishal were arrested from Madhya Pradesh.

Bharti, who had shifted to UK, was summoned by the court in 2003. After three years, in 2006, she appeared before the court to record here sentence.

In May 2008, a lower court gave a life sentence to both Vishal, Vikas and the other accused Sukhdev Pehalwan. In 2014, the High Court upheld the charges against Vikas, Vishal and Sukhdev and branded it as an honour killing case.

On February 2015, the Supreme Court sentenced Vikas and Vishal to 25 years in jail, while Sukhdev got life imprisonment.

Jiah Khan case

Actress Jiah Khan was found hanging in her Juhu apartment in Mumbai on June 3, 2013 at 10:45 pm. The police thought it was a suicide case, but no note was found.

Khan's then boyfriend Sooraj Pancholi and Aditya Pancholi were questioned during the initial probe. Khan's mother claims that she had been depressed for several days before her death.

A letter was found at Khan's apartment, which is included in the CBI chargesheet. Sooraj Pancholi was charged with abetment to suicide and is arrested by the Mumbai Police.

Khan's autoposy report in June said that the death happened due to hanging and Pancholi was taken for a 14-day custody. In July, a court said that Pancholi was not accountable for Khan's death.

Pancholi was again charged with abetment to suicide after the CBI took over the case.

In August 2016, the CBI ruled out murder and said the cause of death was "suicide by hanging'. However, a British forensic expert, hired by Rabia, said that the 'hanging was staged'.

Sunanda Pushkar murder/suicide case

On January 17, 2014, Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in room 345 of the Hotel Leela Palace in Delhi, a day after a Twitter spat with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar over her alleged affair with Pushkar's husband, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor.

A post-mortem report on January 19 revealed a case of sudden and unnatural death. The AIIMS report reveals that injury marks were found on Pushkar's body.

In July, an AIIMS doctor claimed that he was being pressurised to manipulate the autopsy report.

On January 6, 2015, Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi said that Pushkar was murdered. A year later, a report by the AIIMS said Pushkar died of poisoning caused by anxiety drug Alprax. It also said that there are chances of injectable poison considering the mark found on her body.

Shashi Tharoor maintains that his wife died from poisoning.

In July this year, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy filed petition for a CBI-monitored SIT probe into Pushakar's murder and alleged laxity and irregularities the Delhi Police's part.
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