India arrest warrant in schoolgirl murder case

A candle-light vigil for Aarushi Talwar in Jan 2008
Image caption The mystery of 14-year-old Aarushi Talwar's death is one of India's most notorious unsolved murders

An Indian court has issued an arrest warrant against Nupur Talwar - mother of schoolgirl Aarushi Talwar whose murder in 2008 shocked the country.

The court ordered Mrs Talwar's arrest for failing to be present in the court during the hearing of the case.

In January, the Supreme Court ordered the parents to stand trial.

Nupur and husband, Rajesh Talwar, had challenged a ruling from a lower court in Ghaziabad town which said there was enough evidence to prosecute them.

The court had ruled that the couple should be charged with murder, destruction of evidence and criminal conspiracy. The whereabouts of the couple is not clear.

The Talwars, both dentists, deny all the charges.

Gruesome murder

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) says circumstantial evidence points to the parents' involvement in Aarushi's death, but says there is a lack of hard evidence.

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 slept.

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

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

Aarushi's father was arrested and later 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, whose investigation was widely criticised. Noida police were also reprimanded 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 officer 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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