Aarushi Talwar's parents face murder trial

Aarushi Talwar The mystery of 14-year-old Aarushi Talwar's death is one of India's most notorious unsolved murders

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The parents of murdered Indian schoolgirl Aarushi Talwar, whose killing in 2008 shocked the country, are to be tried over her death.

A court near the Indian capital Delhi has ruled there is enough evidence to prosecute Dr Rajesh Talwar and his wife, Nupur, both of whom are dentists.

Magistrate Preeti Singh said they would be charged with murder, destruction of evidence and criminal conspiracy.

The trial is to begin on 28 February. The Talwars say they are innocent.

'A circus'

Their lawyer, Rebecca John, was quoted on Wednesday by India's NDTV channel as saying that the Talwars would appeal against the court order.

"For the last three years, there has been a circus around this case. We will challenge today's order in a superior court of law," she said.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed an application to close the murder inquiry in December.

The federal agency said circumstantial evidence pointed to the parents' involvement in Aarushi's death, but added there was a lack of hard evidence.

Dr Talwar and his wife had described themselves as "completely devastated".

The gruesome tale of murder in an affluent Delhi suburb has generated huge interest in India.

Aarushi, 14, was murdered in her bedroom at the family home in the upmarket Noida district, while her parents were in.

She was found with her throat slit and a fatal head injury.

A day later the bludgeoned body of their servant, Hemraj, was found on the roof.

Aarushi's father was arrested then freed.

Three other men, Dr Talwar's dental assistant and two servants employed by the family's friends and neighbours, were also questioned and released.

The CBI took over the inquiry from Noida police, who had been accused of a botch job.

Noida police were also criticised for statements they made during their investigation.

Days after the murder, a senior police officer told the media that Aarushi had been killed because she had discovered her father's alleged extramarital relationship with another dentist.

The same police chief also suggested the teenager could have been killed because Dr Talwar had objected to her close relationship with the murdered servant.

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