It is a victory tinged with grief for Nithari residents Anil Haldar and his wife Dolly. The conviction on Thursday of businessman Moninder Singh Pandher and his domestic help Surendra Koli for the brutal rape and murder of their 14-year-old daughter Rimpa more than four years ago has restored their faith in the judiciary and they are hoping the duo are given the death penalty.
Minutes after Pandher and Koli were convicted by a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Ghaziabad, the family members of the other 18 victims in Nithari demanded death for the two men.
"My faith in the judiciary has increased after the ruling and we hope the court gives death penalty to them on Friday," Anil Haldar, father of Rimpa Haldar, told IANS.
The CBI court gave its conviction in the first of the Nithari case judgements on Thursday. The quantum of punishment will be announced Friday.
Dolly Haldar, Rimpa's mother, said: "God gave us the courage to fight against these high profile people and we are happy to win this fight. My daughter's soul will now rest in peace and I want both of them should be hanged in public."
The two men were arrested Dec 29, 2006, after the Noida police found 15 skulls, bone fragments and clothes in the drain outside the businessman's D-5 bungalow in Noida on the outskirts of the national capital.
Investigations revealed that the remains belonged to four women and 15 young girls who had been raped, killed and mutilated.
The judgement has brought hope to the family members of the other victims.
"My faith in justice has strengthened. I pray to god for a similar judgement in other cases. I am sure justice will come in our favour. We want the duo to be hanged," said Rajesh Kumar, the brother of 10-year-old Jyoti, another victim of the serial killings.
Sunita, Jyoti's mother, said: "I want that they should be tortured and killed in the same way my daughter was killed. I am relieved that in one case justice has come and am hoping for the same in the other cases."
Bandana Sarkar, mother of 20-year-old Pinki Sarkar who was allegedly raped and murdered by the duo, said: "We thank god for punishing the criminals and I feel the court will support us in the other cases also."
Ram Kishan, who also lost his child, said: "It is the victory for Nithari villagers and I will distribute sweets in the village."