Surendra Koli, the domestic help accused of abducting, raping and murdering 19 children and women in Nithari between 2005-06, will not be tried in three of the 19 cases.
This development comes in light of the fact that the Central Bureau of Investigation has filed a closure report in three of the 19 cases. The report has been submitted to a designated special court in Ghaziabad. The CBI took over the Nithari investigation from the Noida Police in January 2007.
With the closure report being filed in the court, the agency’s “probe into the Nithari killings is finally over,” a CBI source confirmed to Hindustan Times. The CBI has already filed its chargesheet in the remaining 16 cases.
The three closure reports have been filed in cases known as the ‘male child Sheikh Raza case’, ‘girl child Sony case’ and an ‘unidentified case’.
“The CBI,” said its prosecutor J.P. Sharma, “had no option but to stop the probe in these cases as the three sets of skeletal remains—on the basis of which these cases were filed—did not get identified or matched with any known victim,” in Noida, including Sheikh Raza and Sony (who were Nithari residents).
The CBI, apart from scanning a huge data on cases of abduction and murders registered with the Noida police, had used an array of forensic tools—autopsy, forensic individualization, DNA fingerprinting and skull super-imposition tests.
The 19 murder cases were registered on the basis of 73 bone pieces found packed in 52 polythene bags that were recovered from the drain outside Moninder Singh Pandher’s D-5 bungalow in Noida’s Sector 31 since December 29, 2006, when the Noida police detected the killings.
The CBI had later identified 16 of Koli’s victims from the skeletal remains. While Hyderabad’s forensic laboratory identified eight victims by doing DNA profiling on the bones, the Chandigarh forensic laboratory managed to identify five other victims. The CBI identified another three victims through oral and circumstantial methods.
Koli, awarded death in one of the cases (of 14-year-old Rimpa Halder) by the Ghaziabad court, has challenged the sentence in the apex court.
The Allahabad High Court had earlier acquitted Koli’s employer earthmover machine supplier Moninder Singh Pandher who was awarded death in the same case by the Ghaziabad court.
Khalid Khan, who represents several Nithari victims’ families, however, disapproved of the CBI’s move. “This is news to me, but if it is true, then it happened because the CBI did not try hard enough to identify these three unidentified victims.”
Noida’s social activist Lokesh Batra demanded, “The CBI should probe around 40 cases of kidnapping that occurred in Noida then.”