Taking strong exception to the negligence and lack of supervision the two-member committee comprising Home Secretary AK Sinha and ADG Law and Order AC Sharma had recommended major punishment to SSP Gautam Budha Nagar RKS Rathore who continues as district police chief.
If the SSP had acted on time it could have saved at least seven lives, observed the two-member committee in its report submitted to the state government in early January about Nithari killings.
Rathore though has been named for the lapses along with other police personnel, the state government acted in a selective manner while ordering suspension of three and termination of six police personnel.
According to sources, besides pinpointing individual officers who worked in different capacities there (including incharge of Nithari police out post, Station Officer Sector-20 police station) the two-member committee has also raised serious questions over role of other senior officers the DIG Meerut, SSP, ASP and CO who carried out annual or half-yearly inspections of the Sector-20 police station of Noida.
"These officers should have issued necessary directives," observed the two-member committee in its report. Referring to the delay in lodging the FIR of Payal’s father the two-member committee had observed that Payal’s father must have met the SSP Noida RKS Rathore.
Seven lives could have been saved if action was taken on his complaint and the FIR had been lodged, observed the committee adding that there was an apparent delay in lodging of the FIR of Payal’s father who had named the two accused arrested subsequently.
Significantly the observations made by the committee raise serious questions over the supervision of the Noida police. The committee pointed out that incharges of Nithari outpost had tenures as short as 18 days. While one sub-inspector incharge Nithari police out post remained posted from May 23, 2005 to June 28, 2005 his successor remained there from July 2, 2005 to July 20, 2005.
His successor remained posted there from July 20, 2005 to August 28, 2005. In 2006 also one out post incharge remained posted from June 14, 2006 to July 20, 2006 and tenures of some other incharges too remained short.
The state government is finding it difficult to make up its mind on the action to be taken against police personnel who have remained posted for short periods. The committee in its report has recommended minor punishment against them. The committee has recommended action against the CO-1 Gautam Budha Nagar Dinesh Yadav who along with Rathore has not been shifted so far.
Significantly the committee at another point has noted that the local people informed it that Moninder Singh must have bribed the local policemen to get Surendra released from the police. While summing up the report the committee has also made two major recommendations that include suggestion to display information about the missing children on the area maps and maintain separate registers for the purpose.
This would help in pointing out areas where a number of children may have disappeared, said a senior police officer. The committee has also recommended that a cell under the IG Zone be constituted to monitor the progress of investigations.
After studying the records the committee had noted that 23 children (below 18) were reported missing. Out of them 10 were recovered while 10 were murdered and three were still missing. In the age group of 18 years and above 11 were reported missing and six of them were murdered.