Kathmandu: The Indian judiciary Wednesday got a `Thank You` from the widow of the Nepalese domestic help whose murder along with Aarushi`s led to life term for dentists Rajesh and Nupur Talwar.
Unwell and battling poverty, Hemraj Banjade`s wife Khum Kala said in an interview that she never thought the Talwars would get punished for the double murder at their home near Delhi five years ago.
Speaking over phone from Agharkachi district, some 300 km west of Kathmandu, the distraught woman said she wanted the Talwar couple to hang.
"But I am satisfied (with life imprisonment). I congratulate the Indian judiciary for booking the (killers) of my dear husband, sentencing them to life imprisonment," she said.
"I never thought justice will be delivered this way. They (Talwars) were rich people and we believed they will buy (off) the courts. But it did not happen," she added, sounding humble but profoundly grateful.
It was in May 2008 that Aarushi, the 14-year-old daughter of the Talwars, was found dead with her throat slit at their plush Noida home.
Police first thought that the killer could be Hemraj, the 45-year-old domestic help who was missing. The next day, however, his body -- murdered similarly -- was found on the terrace of the house.
The case went through several twists and turns and became one of the most keenly followed crime cases in recent times in India.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) finally decided to charge the Talwars with murder. A court found them guilty Monday and the doctors were sentenced to life imprisonment Tuesday.
For Khum Kala, the world collapsed around her after the murder of her husband, the family`s only bread winner. He left behind an aged mother now 80-years old, his wife and a 16-year-old son.
According to the widow, who lives in a remote part of Nepal, her husband left for India in 2008 in search of work and was hired by the Talwars. The couple were well known dentists.
Khum Kala said that Hemraj was paid Rs.5,000 a month by the Talwars. Now and then he would send money to his family in Nepal.
After he was killed, the family`s financial woes deepened.
Khum Kala remembers the last conversation she had with Hemraj some two months before his killing.
"He promised to send me some money and said he will visit us soon. That never happened. Neither he came nor the money."
The son, Prajjwal, is a chronic patient of bronchitis. Khum Kala`s right hand is almost crippled.
"Every day I remember Hemraj but what can I do? I am illiterate, so I cannot do a proper job. And I don`t have enough money to start any kind of business," she moaned.
The family survives partly on income from agriculture but that is too meagre. Relatives occasionally lend some support.
"Hemraj used to tell me over phone that Rajesh was a short-tempered man and frequently got angry with him.
"But I never thought he will kill his own daughter and my husband," she said.
The widow says she is desperately in need of financial support. "I want to educate my son and look after my 80-year-old mother-in-law."
She said the moment the verdict was out Tuesday, her relatives in Delhi telephoned her.
"Tears rolled from my eyes. I felt I had won a long battle although my husband will never come back."
Khum Kala said she was grateful to the judiciary, journalists who pursued the case and social organisations in India who helped her during the trial.
But she rejected allegations that Hemraj was somehow to blame for the crime.
"He had no bad habits. He did not drink (liquor). He was straightforward. He was a decent man," she said.