The night of May 14, 2008 changed the fate of L-32 Jalvayu Vihar, Noida, forever, bringing the two- bedroom flat under an oppressive media glare. Nine years later, on a day the couple who owned the flat was cleared of the ignominy of being their daughter's murderers, Aarushi Talwar remains a forbidden topic for the residents of the neighbourhood. An eerie silence hung over the apartment complex, inhabited by retired air force and naval officers, with neighbours reluctant to talk about the sensational murder case, which continues to remain a mystery. Nupur and Rajesh Talwar had moved out of the flat after the incident, renting it out. They had shifted to South Delhi's Hauz Khas. A neighbour, Ashish, was among the very few who spoke about the murder of the couple's teenage daughter and Nepalese domestic help Hemraj. "No parent can do this to their child," he said before retreating into his L-Block house.
In fact, no one among the those who spoke had much to offer. One of residents near the Sector 25 home, D Singh, said, "If not the Talwars, then who killed Aarushi? However, we are happy that they have been acquitted." The Nepalese domestic helps here made no bones of where their sympathies lay. "The rich can get themselves acquitted. In the Nithari case too, (Moninder Singh) Pandher was acquitted. The poor cannot expect justice," said one. Another said, "Hemraj's relatives should challenge the acquittal at the Supreme Court." Arpana, who claimed to have been working as a domestic help in houses located in L Block for nearly two decades, emphasised that she has not forgotten anything about the incident. "There was a sense of shock among the locals when they came to know about the double murder in their neighbourhood," she said, claiming that she worked in the Talwar house for some time as well. A washerwoman, who has been running her shop near the Talwar apartment for nearly 25 years, said the couple had not been spotted in the area since the fateful summer night.
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