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Witness testimonies sealed case

delhi Updated: Feb 15, 2009 00:08 IST
Abhishek Sharan
Abhishek Sharan
Hindustan Times
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Testimonies of two 15-year-old Nithari girls, both prosecution witnesses in the Rimpa Halder attempted rape-cum-murder case, who had spurned death-convict Surendra Koli’s attempt to lure them inside his employer’s bungalow (D-5) played a significant role in proving his crimes.

The testimonies, of Pratibha and Poornima, according to the order of the designated CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) court that awarded death to Koli and his employer Moninder Singh Pandher on Friday, when considered with other material and corroborative evidence especially his judicial confession, confirmed the charge that he lured and killed Halder.

The testimonies, along with the other evidence, led to the court’s rejection of Koli’s recantation of his judicial confession that sealed his fate.

Pratibha, prosecution witness number 27, in her statement gave detailed description of the manner in which Koli tried snaring her around a few months before he was arrested on December 29, the same year. “I used to work as a domestic help at the Rail Vihar (area) in sector 30, Noida,” she began.

“One day, I was returning home after work around 2 p.m. when accused Surendra Koli called me and told me to meet him in the room. He asked me if I wanted to do household chores like washing and dusting the floors,” she said. Adding, “I told him he must call his madam before me since I will not go inside (the bungalow).”

Koli however told her that his ‘madam’ (Pandher’s mother according to Koli’s version) was old and Pratibha should rather go inside to meet her. But Pratibha flatly refused him and went back.

Poornima, prosecution witness number 28, was a Class V student then studying at the local Social Underage Foundation School located in Sector 37.

Her encounter with Koli occurred because, like Halder, she had to pass by D-5.

“I was returning home from school one day when I saw flowers on branches protruding out on the pathway from the walls of the accused’s bungalow…I requested him to pluck the flowers and give to me but Koli insisted I must get inside the bungalow and only then he will do that but I refused,” Poornima told the court.

“The witnesses’s testimonies confirmed Koli’s judicial confession and the fact that he had the habit of calling girls and women, like he did in the case of Halder, who would be passing by the bungalow by employing temptations,” the court said.

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