The first verdict in one of the 19 cases of rape and murder of children and women in Nithari is expected on February 12.
Almost two years after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took over the investigations of Nithari cases from the Noida police, a Ghaziabad special court completed proceedings in the Rimpa Haldar case on Friday and set February 12 as the date to pronounce the verdict.
Fourteen years old Halder, according to the CBI chargesheet submitted in May 2007, was allegedly raped and murdered around four years ago by domestic help Surender Koli at bungalow number D-5 (in sector 31), which was owned by his employer and co-accused Moninder Singh Pandher. Pandher, a Noida businessman, was arrested in the case along with Koli.
Halder was allegedly strangulated and then cut to pieces by Koli with two kitchen knives and an axe. Koli, according to the chargesheet, was suffering from necrophilia (urge to have sex with corpse) and necrophagia (urge to eat the flesh of a body).
“Our case was that Surender Koli had lured Rimpa Halder inside the bungalow on February 8, 2005, and then raped and killed her. According to the CBI findings and Koli’s voluntary statement before a Delhi metropolitan court in January 2007, he did the crimes and Pandher, who was in Australia then, was not a party to them,” CBI counsel J.P. Sharma told HT.
Last August, the court had “suo motu” summoned Pandher and asked him to depose in the case, during which the latter had claimed he was in Australia when Halder went missing. Defense counsel Khalid Khan, however, charged the CBI of “fabricating documents and shielding Pandher”.
“The time of murder of the victim has not been proved. In another charge sheet in a different case, both the accused had signed the seizure-memo together and not Koli alone,” Khan said.
CBI spokesperson Harsh Bhal refused to comment as the matter was sub judice.
According to Sharma, the prosecution submitted “adequate” material evidence proving Koli's crimes. “The material evidence against Koli include the crime's weapons and the victim’s clothes recovered on his instance, his judicial confession, and the matching of the DNA samples taken from Halder's skull and bones with those of her parents,” Sharma said.
According to the 16 chargesheets submitted in court by the CBI, including in the Halder case, Koli allegedly was single-handedly responsible for 16 murders (between February 2005 and November 2006), out of the 19 murder cases registered by the police. Pandher was away when the 16 cases of rapes and murders by Koli occurred, according to the chargesheet.