The Congress demanded a CBI inquiry into the "national human tragedy" that, according to its information, involved the serial killing of 98 children at Noida.
"Over a period of two years, we understand, reports have been filed of the disappearance of 98 children from that area alone,"’ spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan said while emphasising that the Congress did not want to "politicise" the issue.
There was no word whether Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who is presently out of the Delhi, will visit the families of the victims. But Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee chief Salman Khurshid and other state leaders have gone to Nithari.
In a delayed reaction, Natarajan expressed the party's "shock, horror and outrage" at the gruesome murders of children and demanded justice for the families of those who were killed by calling for speedy punishment of the guilty.
She saw the kidnappings and killings of young boys and girls as a horrific reminder of the collapse of law and order in the state but refrained from demanding President's Rule in the state. "That is an issue between the Governor, the President and the Centre," she said.
Natarajan also asserted that the Congress did not want to politicise the matter but the party, she said, did share Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav's continuing faith in the police in securing justice for the victims' families when their laxity had led to the disappearance of 98 children.
"Police inaction gives rise to suspicion of their complicity in the heinous crime," she said, noting that reports about some missing children had been filed as early as June 2005. She said the police took no action in spite of a directive from the National Commission for Women which went into the issue of the disappearance of half a dozen women of the Nithari village in August 2005.