Portraits of the ‘murderers’ | india | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
May 27, 2017-Saturday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Portraits of the ‘murderers’

A class VI dropout, Koli worked as a domestic help in businessman Moninder Singh Pandher’s house in Noida.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2009 00:04 IST

Surendra Koli

A class VI dropout, Koli worked as a domestic help in businessman Moninder Singh Pandher’s house in Noida. He is alleged to have sexually assaulted and killed as many as 15 children and three women in Noida’s sector-31 house within a span of one-and-a half years. In first of the 19 cases in Nithari, Koli was convicted of raping and murdering 14-year-old Rimpa Halder.

He allegedly lured children — both girls and boys — to the house of his employer Moninder Singh Pandher. Pandher allegedly abused them sexually and handed them over to Koli who in turn abused the victims before killing them. He disposed the bodies in nearby drains after putting the chopped parts in different bags.

The law caught up with Koli on December 29, 2006, after numerous complaints by Nithari villagers whose children had disappeared. Police search led to recovery of fifteen human skulls, skeletal remains and fragments of clothes stuffed in gunny bags from the drain behind bungalow number D-5 where Koli worked.

Police said during interrogation Koli hardly ever showed any remorse, but he did turn emotional when questioned about his three-year-old daughter Simran.

Before landing in Delhi, Koli did odd jobs, skinned animals for a living and sometimes ate raw flesh. In Delhi, his first job was to wash utensils at a rundown hotel in New Delhi.

He then got a job as a cook at the house of a retired brigadier in Sector 29, Noida, and worked there from 1993 to 1998. In 1998, he returned to his village to get married. Within a month of his marriage, he again left home. He left his wife Shanti behind and landed in Noida.

He worked for six years at the house of a retired army major, who then introduced him to businessman Moninder Singh Pandher. Soon after, he left his job to work at Pandher’s mansion.

Moninder Singh Pandher

Appearances can be deceptive. Nobody would agree more with the adage than friends and relatives of nondescript-looking 55-year-old, Moninder Singh Pandher, the industrialist who along with his cook were charged with conspiracy behind the murder and attempted rape of Rimpa Halder.

Nothing about Pandher ever evoked suspicion from friends and family as to the horrific goings-on in his Noida home. News of Pandher’s crime came as a shock to schoolmates from alma mater Bishop Cotton School in Shimla. For them, “Goldy” as Pandher was lovingly called, had always been an amiable and wonderful chap. Pandher came from an affluent business family in Punjab, graduated from Delhi’s prestigious St. Stephen’s College and inherited a successful family business.

Investigators however have a different story to tell. They say Pandher had a disturbed childhood. His marriage too was a failure. For years he had been living alone at the D-5 house in Noida. His wife Devinder Kaur and son Karandeep lived separately at the family’s home in Chandigarh. Pandher would visit his family once in a while.

Police claimed Pandher lived a life of luxury. He loved his drink, played golf and in his spare time read up on nightmares. He had visited Los Angeles, Switzerland, Dubai, Canada and China. He lived on the ground floor of his double storey bunglow. And his servant, Surendra Kohli, lived on the first floor.

When policemen took mediapersons inside the D-5 house after Pandher’s arrest, they found vintage wine bottles in the cellar, golf clubs and fancy furniture. Police seized laptops and CDs from his house, which they alleged carried photographs of Pandher posing with nude children.

In fact, had Noida Police heeded to complaints of Nithari residents; many young lives could have been saved. Allegations have been levelled that Pandher kept the police happy during the time he lived in Noida.

He allegedly paid Rs 2.5 lakh to a gazetted rank officer after he was rounded up even before December 29, 2006, for his involvement in disappearance of children from the same area.