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Govt sets up probe panel

The sate government on Sunday set up a two-member high-powered committee to probe the serial killings in Noida. Secretary (Home) RM Shrivastav said another Secretary (Home) AK Sinha and Additional Director General of Police (Crime, Law and Order) AC Sharma would probe the matter and submit a report within three days.

india Updated: Jan 04, 2007 23:29 IST

CM announces Rs 2 lakh relief for next of kin

THE STATE Government on Sunday set up a two-member high-powered committee to probe the serial killings in Noida.

Secretary (Home) RM Shrivastav said another Secretary (Home) AK Sinha and Additional Director General of Police (Crime, Law and Order) AC Sharma would probe the matter and submit a report within three days.

The committee would look into whether there was slackness by the police in investigating the disappearance of children from Nithari village over the past two years. The two officers are expected to reach the village on Monday.    

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav announced assistance of Rs 2 lakh each for the victims’ family members.  He said the assistance would be provided after verification of the children’s identities. Police have verified the identity of 10 children on the basis of photographs shown to the accused and the victims’ relatives. Also, victims’ identities have been established on the basis of their clothes or other personal effects.

However, the chief minister rejected former Prime Minister VP Singh’s demand for a CBI probe.

A Home Department spokesman said the police had so far recovered 17 skeletons of missing children.

Police have already arrested house owner Mohinder Singh and his servant who were involved in the killing and sexual abuse of these children.  The government has suspended five police officials, including two inspectors. Another inspector has been sent to the lines. The spokesman said, on the basis of the report, legal and departmental action would be taken against officials responsible for laxity.

According to an IANS report, two more Noida constables who were supposed to patrol the Nithari village adjacent to Sector 31, and from where the victims disappeared over the past 21 months, were suspended on Sunday. This raises to seven the number of police officials suspended so far.

The agency quoted Director General of Police Bua Singh as saying, “There is no denying that this was a case of gross laxity, negligence and failure on the part of some policemen who did not pay the desired attention to repeated reports of missing children from the area.”

Parents of the victims, who all came from poor working class families, alleged that the Noida police had been indifferent to their pleas for a thorough investigation.

On his part, Bua Singh denied reports that the parents of some of the victims had alerted the police about the involvement of Surendra in the heinous crime.

“No one ever raised doubts about Surendra whom we arrested only because of our electronic surveillance.”

About the possibility of the killings being a part of an organ trading racket, Singh said: “We do not rule out anything. I am sure everything will be in place once the probe is complete.”

“The fact remains that if the police had eventually not acted, the killings
would have continued,” he pointed out.

“After all, it was on account of our electronic surveillance that we could track down the killer who was using a mobile belonging to one of the victims.

“What surprises me that even as body after body was being dumped in a drain running between the area and village, no one ever complained of the stench that was bound to emanate from the place,” he said.