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'Noida killings a blot on society'

At a meeting presided over by prime minister, the cabinet discusses the shocking saga, reports Aloke Tikku.

india Updated: Jan 05, 2007 04:24 IST

A senior central minister has joined the chorus to demand an independent probe into the serial killing of children in Nithari village after the Union Cabinet discussed the macabre crime saga that put the Mulayam Singh Yadav government in a tight spot.

The UP chief minister had sacked six policemen and suspended two senior officers on Wednesday as a damage control exercise ahead of assembly polls expected around April. The BJP and the Congress have already come down heavily on the state government and demanded a CBI probe.

There were echoes of the killings at Thursday's meeting of the Cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil briefed the meeting on the killings and the response. Union Information and Broadcasting Minister PR Dasmunsi, who described the killings as "very unfortunate and a blot on civilised society", said Patil was "very concerned".

The Union home ministry had earlier contacted the state government in this regard. The ministry, however, figured that there was no role for it as it was a law and order issue and clearly within the state government's domain. It is in this context that the women and child development ministry had on Wednesday constituted a central team.

Dasmunsi said the Uttar Pradesh government should have taken action as soon as the children were reported missing. The minister wondered how the state police and the administration could hold an "impartial inquiry" after Wednesday's dismissal of police officers that acknowledged the police had not acted as they should have.

"By taking action against the police, by suspending or sacking so many of them, the state government has prima facie accepted their involvement," he said, adding there was a "decisive fault" on part of the police department.

The senior Congress leader also blamed the UP chief minister for not visiting the site of the crime to assess the situation, as it was not a "minor incident".

Email Aloke Tikku: atikku@hindustantimes.com