More bags full of bones and flesh were recovered from Nithari on Tuesday, even as investigators of the Central Bureau of Investigation did the chilling mathematics of the serial killings: for two years, one person died almost every two weeks.
According to the Noida Police records, the first missing complaint was lodged on February 8, 2005. The last such complaint was made on November 12, 2006.
Nithari residents have said that during this time, more than 38 people, mostly children, went missing from the area.
But with 21 skulls recovered until Saturday and 40 more bags containing over a dozen skulls recovered in the last three days, investigators fear that the toll might cross 40. "If we assume that the toll won't cross 40, it comes to around a murder every 16th day," a said a senior CBI official. The main suspects, Moninder Singh Pandher and Surendra Koli, are being interrogated at the headquarters of the Central Bureau of Investigation at the CGO complex.
Investigators are also probing whether there are more suspects they can find in the case. "There have been reports of some people visiting Pandher's house during the evening hours. Whether the children were kept in the house and abused by the visitors also needs to be probed," the official said. New scenarios are emerging. Earlier, a senior official said, it was believed that the accused would sexually assault and kill the victims the same day, chop their bodies, pack them and throw them into the drain.
However, that might not have been the case, investigators say. "The suspects are being grilled on various aspects of the case and there is a possibility that the victims might have been kept in the house for over a week and then murdered," the official said.
Email Tushar Srivastava: tushar @hindustantimes.com