THE entire nation was stunned after skeletal remains of 15 children, who had mysteriously disappeared over two years from Nithari village near Noida’s Sector 31, were recovered from a drain in the backyard of a businessman’s house on Friday.
The children were allegedly sexually abused before being killed. While the prime suspect in the case, Satish, confessed to killing seven children, police sources said at least 15 skeletons had been recovered. Villagers, who said over 30 children had gone missing over two years, feared they were all buried in the backyard of house number D-5.
The bodies that were recovered were stuffed in gunny bags. Senior Superintendent of Police R.K.S. Rathore said they would be able to give a clear picture about the number of children killed after conducting a scientific examination of the skeletal remains, as most of the skeletons were not intact.
School bags, children’s slippers and other belongings were also recovered from the drain. The police recovered 15 knives, one revolver, 50 cartridges and one rifle from the house.
House owner Mahender Singh Pandher, who runs a JCB agency, was also arrested. Satish and Pandher have both been charged with rape and murder.
“Pandher’s family stays in Chandigarh and he was living in Noida with Satish, his servant,” said a police officer. Rathore said Satish was “mentally ill”.
Ram Saran, the paternal uncle of three-year-old Harsh who went missing this February, said the parents of several children who had gone missing had suspected that Satish was responsible for the kidnappings. “But the police turned us away,” he said.
The killings came to light when a few villagers noticed the clothes and slippers of some missing children dumped behind Pandher’s house, and informed the police.
The police officer said the recovery led to further suspicion and the house was put under surveillance. As news about the recovery of the skeletons spread, some parents of the missing children arrived at spot. Many carried photographs of their children, frantically searching for any clue.