On the fourth anniversary of the Nithari serial killings, families of the victims performed a havan, in memory of the deceased on Wednesday. This year, parents of only four victims reached the “house of horror”, D-5 in Noida Sector 31.
Ram Kishen, father of three-year-old Harsh, Jhabbu Lal, father of 13-year-old Jyoti and Durga Prasad, father of 10-year-old Aarti, were among those present. “Our wounds will not heal until we see Pandher hanged to death,” Kishen said.
“Noida Police has not learnt any lesson from the Nithari case and treating missing persons report lightly,” commodore (retd) Lokesh K Batra, social worker and RTI activist, said. However, there was some confusion over the prayer site. Earlier, the havan used to be held behind the house, where 17 human skulls were recovered from a drain four years ago.
Due to construction of a room at the site, the meeting was decided to be held on the road but, the police did not give approval for it.
The meeting was finally held behind the water tank near the house. Leaders from Samajwadi Party, Congress and social workers also attended the prayer ceremony. But, while the families of the victims try to keep the memories of their loved ones alive, the residents of the area are trying to move on. Some, like Prem Lata Chauhan, told the Hindustan Times: “We still avoid the dry drain site. Sight of skulls flashes in my mind.”
“This year I had requested the victims’ families to perform the havan at other place, as our children will not be able to come out of the trauma. Moreover, the havan should be held outside the D-5 house of horror and not at water works because children of compound will remain scared,” Chauhan added.