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Father cleared in India murders

11 July 08 12:02 GMT

Police in India say they have found no evidence against a well-known dentist arrested in connection with the murder of his teenaged daughter.

Arushi, 14, was found dead at home in May while her parents slept in the next room. A day later, the body of their male servant was found on the roof.

Later, police arrested Dr Rajesh Talwar and said he was the "prime suspect".

The murders generated huge media and public interest in Delhi with every twist and turn followed closely.

Dr Talwar and his wife Nupur - also a dentist - have always maintained their innocence.

The case had been headline news in mainstream English and language dailies and on television channels.

The investigation was handed over to India's federal police - the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) - after questions were raised about how police in Delhi's suburb Noida - where the family lives - had made mistakes in the case.

'No evidence'

"We have found no evidence against Dr Rajesh Talwar. We carried... tests on him, but they were inconclusive," senior CBI official Arun Kumar told a press conference televised live on several Indian news channels.

Legal experts say with the CBI giving a clean chit to Dr Talwar, he can now be released.

Although no murder weapon yet found, Mr Kumar said that Dr Talwar's assistant, Krishna, has emerged as the main suspect in the case.

Krishna was arrested last month and has undergone lie-detector tests.

"Krishna has confessed to his crime," Mr Kumar said.

The CBI official said the case still has many loose ends and the investigations are continuing.

Noida police who initially investigated the case were severely criticised for some of the statements they made in connection with the crime.

Addressing a press conference on 23 May, senior state police officer Gurdarshan Singh said Arushi was killed because she objected to her father's extra-marital relationship with a fellow dentist.

At the same press conference, Mr Singh suggested that the teenager could have been killed because Dr Talwar did not like her close relationship with the servant.

Dr Nupur Talwar strongly rejected the allegations. Several women's and children's groups also objected, describing them as insensitive and in bad taste.

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