Domestic help Surendra Koli has appealed in the Allahabad High Court against the death sentence awarded to him in the attempted rape and murder of Rimpa Halder (14) by a designated Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on February 13.
Businessman Moninder Singh Pandher, Koli’s former employer who too was awarded death in the Halder case, had earlier challenged his sentence in the high court. Koli, like Pandher, filed his challenge application from Dasna Jail — where both are currently lodged — whose authorities forwarded it to the high court.
Dasna Jail Superintendent V K Singh told HT, “We forwarded the appeal filed by Koli, like that of Moninder Singh Pandher, to the higher court as per the rule which requires a death convict to appeal.” He added, “Now Koli’s lawyer will have to take up the appeal when it gets heard.”
On Wednesday, when Koli arrived in court to attend the proceedings, he appeared glum and reticent. He asked his lawyer, amicus curiae Aadesh Sharma, softly, “Sir, kya sambhav lagta hai ab (what is possible now)?” Sharma gave a diplomatic, though non-committal, response, “Have trust in God, and he will do what is best.”
Koli’s mood was different when he confessed to have attempted to rape, strangulated and then dismembered seven-year-old Aarti Prasad — daughter of auto-driver Durga — in the afternoon of September 25, 2006. Koli, according to his voluntary confession made before a Delhi metropolitan magistrate in March 2007, killed Prasad in his second attempt.
Koli had dragged her to his bathroom on the first floor of bungalow number D -5, owned by Pandher, to kill and dismember her body. Since there were a few carpenters working downstairs, he had thrown off the body parts around the bungalow later in the evening.
“She was a little, bald girl…and I called her inside with the lure of giving her a chocolate. I used a cloth used for dusting to strangulate her then tried to have sex with her while she was unconscious,” read Koli’s confession. Prasad’s “blue jeans skirt, blue school belt, a black scarf, a white sandal, a white banyan, and a green and white chunni” were recovered on December 29, 2006, from around the bungalow.