A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Ghaziabad on Wednesday held Surinder Koli guilty in the sixth case related to the Nithari killings.
The case came to fore in 2006 when dismembered bodies of children and women were found dumped around the sector 31 house of Koli’s employer, Moninder Singh Pandher, in Noida.
In all the five cases decided earlier at Ghaziabad, Koli was awarded death penalty. Later, in January 2015, the Allahabad high court commuted Koli’s sentence to life imprisonment in one case. Since December 2006, Koli is lodged at Dasna jail in Ghaziabad.
The present case relates to a 25-year-old domestic help from Nithari in Noida, who hailed from Nepal and had served as a domestic help at Pandher’s house before she disappeared on October 31, 2006.
“The hearing in the sixth case started in 2013 and Koli was held guilty after prosecution produced 50 witnesses in the case. The quantum of punishment will be pronounced on October 7. Koli was held guilty for abduction, rape, murder and destruction of evidence in the case related to the 25-year-old domestic help,” said JP Sharma, public prosecutor, CBI.
According to the charge-sheet filed by CBI, the women had stopped working at Pandher’s house in August 2006 as she was in an advanced stage of pregnancy.
A day before the woman disappeared, Koli had called her outside the house and asked her to rejoin work. On October 31, 2006, she left her house at 7am and told her husband that after her work, she would go to Pandher’s house to meet Koli as he had offered her to resume work there. She never came back.
Following a search, her husband and brother-in-law went to meet Koli, who told them that the woman did not come to their house.
After human skulls, bones, clothes and other remains were discovered from a closed gallery behind Pandher’s house at D5, sector 31 Noida, the woman’s husband identified his wife’s salwar. A skull super-imposition test also identified the victim as the 25-year-old domestic help.
Koli and his Pandher were arrested in December 2006. Koli’s disclosures helped police recover pieces of bones, polythene packs containing biological material — soft tissues, bones, slippers — and clothes from the drain in front of Pandher’s house.
On January 18, 2007, Koli confessed that he used an axe to cut the dead bodies of the victim and others which were later thrown in poly packs. The axe was also recovered.
After the CBI took up investigation, they re-registered 19 cases in which Koli was charge-sheeted for rape, 16 cases in which he was charged with murder. The agency filed a final report in three cases. Pandher was charge-sheeted in only one case under provisions of the Immoral Trafficking Act. But, during trial, he was also summoned as a coaccused in six cases by the Ghaziabad court.
In the first of the Nithari cases, related to another victim, which was decided at Ghaziabad in February, 2009, both Koli and Pandher were awarded death penalty. Following an appeal, Pandher was acquitted of all charges by the Allahabad high court while Koli’s punishment was upheld.
“Since there was a delay in execution of Koli’s death penalty, he was given a reprieve by the high court that commuted his sentence to life imprisonment. Four remaining cases are in appeal at the high court,” Sharma said.