Even as Rajesh and Nupur Talwar — parents of 14-year-old Aarushi who was found murdered inside her bedroom on May 16, 2008 — walked free on Monday, the family of Hemraj Banjade is living a life of hardship. Hemraj had worked as a domestic help at the Talwars’ house. Initially a prime suspect in Aarushi’s murder, his body was found on the terrace a day later.
His family members, who now live in a village in Nepal, comprise his ailing mother and his widow among others. His son has just turned 18. At the time he was working at the Talwars’, his daughter had already been married. He also had a granddaughter.
The death of Hemraj, the sole breadwinner of the house, hit the family hard. “After the murder, Nepali people working in the city had contributed and given the family Rs 1 lakh. Nine years have passed. Since then, nothing has changed for them. His mother’s condition is poor,” said Thakur Khanal, a member of the Mool Pravah Akhil Bharat Nepal Ekta Samaj.
Khanal is not in direct touch with the family, but gets to know about how they are doing from mutual acquaintances. A petition for compensation for the family was filed in court, but no decision has been taken on it yet. Khanal added that the acquittal of the Talwars has become a reason of concern for them as some media houses are trying to implicate the other two Nepali workers — Raj Kumar and Krishna Thapa — in the murders.
At a press conference on Monday, Khanal said, “The investigating agencies could not file a chargesheet against them that time. However, they went through enough trauma when they sat for polygraph tests. Now that the Talwars have been acquitted, a few media houses are weaving in their role in the murders. We request them to leave the two alone.”
He, however, maintained that no one knows whether the two have moved back to Nepal or are still working in India. “After they were released from jail, it was difficult for them to find a job. That also caused a great deal of trauma for them,” Khanal said.