Monday, February 16, 2009

Nithari Killings

The 55-year-old businessman Moninder Singh Pandher and his 38-year-old servant Surinder Koli, both accused in the Nithari serial killings, have been pronounced guilty of murder and rape of a 14-year-old girl, Rimpa Haldar. Earlier, the Cenyral Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had given a clean chit to the entrepreneur. Pandher and Koli, who are in judicial custody since January 2007, were produced in the court of Rama Jain, Special CBI Judge, who pronounced the duo guilty of murder, rape, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence. The sentence could be death by hanging or life imprisonment. As the judge pronounced the word guilty, Pandher started sobbing, while Koli showed no emotions.
Case of Serial Killings
Investigations into the murders began in December 2006 after the discovery of skeletal remains of children missing in Nithari. This has been modern India’s first case of serial killings involving paedophilia and cannibalism. Rimpa was raped and murdered in 2006 by Koli at Pandher’s bungalow in Noida’s Sector 31. Koli, who suffered from necrophilia and necrophagia, allegedly strangled her and then cut her to pieces with two kitchen knives and an axe.
The skeletal remains of about 19 people, mainly of girls and women, were first discovered from a sewer behind Pandher’s house. The police recovered human skulls stuffed in 57 gunny bags containing about 700 bone pieces.
Right Verdict
The death sentence awarded to Pandher and his domestic help Koli for the rape and murder of Rimpa in the first of the horrendous Nithari killings is just and well-deserved. They could not have expected a lesser punishment for the crime they committed. The Nithari killings, shocking in their bestiality, were an outrage that disgraced the Uttar Pradesh police.
The cases were registered in a Noida police station in December 2006 and later transferred to the CBI. Significantly, Pandher was convicted on the same charges as that of Koli, including criminal conspiracy. However, the CBI’s role in the case has come under close scrutiny. Though it had given a clean chit to Pandher, maintaining that he was away in Australia when Rimpa went missing, the special court did not buy the theory and framed charges against him independently.
In fact, till minutes before the verdict, the CBI had stuck to its stand that there was no evidence against Pandher. Even when Special Judge Rama Jain was hearing the arguments on the quantum of punishment for the accused, the CBI counsel sought death sentence for Koli, but refused to ask for the same for Pandher.
The CBI needs to explain the rationale for what appears to be its questionable role in the case. Though one chapter of the horror story has ended on a positive note, the victims’ families have a long way to go. No doubt, the judgment in this case is expected to set the precedent for other serial killings, but the ends of justice will be met only when the trial of five other cases pending against Pandher and the 15 against Koli are expeditiously concluded.

1 comment:

Faseeh Aamir said...

It is sad for the victims family that the verdict came a little too late, infact they should have been executed a lot earlier.Now it is my request to the Executing authorities to execute them publically without any further delay.That may avoid such a shameful sin in future.