Uttar Pradesh Police ignored directions not only of the National Human Rights Commission, but also of the National Commission of Women (NCW) to investigate the case of missing children and women from Nithari village. The NCW had directed UP police to investigate the matter as far back as September 2005.
The police’s refusal to act on directions given by two of the most important institutions of the country resulted in one of the most horrific crimes in recent times.
At the time when the NCW had directed the police to investigate into the matter, only six children and women had gone missing from the village, NCW sources told Hindustan Times on Saturday. The Commission had warned the Noida police that it suspected a human trafficking racket operating in Nithari.
"I could not imagine that the kidnappings could be linked to a barbaric crime like this. I suspected a human trafficking racket. I summoned the police and told them to act fast," said Nirmala Venkatesh, member, NCW. "When we started inquiring into the complaints received by the Commission, I received many clues that these were kidnappings. I gave the police a list of those clues that ran into three pages," she said.
Venkatesh added that she had told the police to arrest a tea-stall owner, Parimal Biswas and his wife Rita, in the village to interrogate them. "Our inquiry revealed that two were connected to the kidnappings and could reveal further. The police caught the two but let them off the same day without making any headway."
The Commission has now asked the state government for an Action Taken Report (ATR) in the matter.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), on the other hand, received two complaints of disappearances from Nithari as early as 2004. "The Commission closed the cases after investigations," NHRC sources said. Commission sources added that cases are closed only after directions have been issued to the police to act in the matter.
The NHRC received two more complaints from Nithari residents after 2005. "The complaints are being investigated by the Director General (Investigations)," sources said.
"The police have displayed an obvious bias in the matter," said Bikram Pradhan, the village headman. "We never got a decent hearing with the police officers because our people are poor. When a rich man’s son was kidnapped, the same set of officials worked overtime to ensure that the boy was recovered in record time," he said drawing parallels with the Nithari killings and the kidnapping of three-year-old Anant Gupta.