The man whose complaint about his missing daughter unravelled the Nithari killings alleged on Sunday that officers of the Central Bureau of Investigation had made him sign blank, undated papers. The CBI called the allegation “nonsensical”.
Nand Lal, 47, was the first person to name the main suspects — Moninder Singh Pandher and his servant Surendra Koli — in a May 2006 complaint about his daughter Payal having gone missing. (She has since been confirmed dead.) He has virtually been in hiding for weeks since the remains of people — mostly children — allegedly sexually assaulted and killed by the accused began turning up at Nithari.
HT tracked him down at Pipliya village, where he returned on Saturday after spending two days in Delhi being questioned by the CBI. “Of the three sheets of paper that I signed, two were blank and one had only my address on it. The officer told me that in an emergency they might need a statement, and since I am staying far away it would be difficult to get my signature,” he said.
In Delhi, CBI spokesman G Mohanty retorted, “This is absolutely nonsensical. The CBI officials never did such a thing.”
In his complaint to the police on May 8 last year, Lal said Payal had gone missing after going to Pandher’s house. The police had turned him away. He went to court, and it took a magistrate’s order to register an FIR five months later, on October 7.