Nithari: CBI did not probe police laxity
The CBI, probing the rape and murder of 19 children and women at Nithari in Noida between 2005-06, did not establish the alleged lapses and culpability of government officials, including police, who could have saved the victims.
This CBI admitted this in response to an RTI query submitted last December by a Noida resident, retired Commodore and social activist Lokesh K. Batra.
The response to the RTI query was given by CBI’s deputy inspector general of police, Zaki Ahmad. “There were many public authorities, including police officials, whose delay led to the delayed detection of the Nithari killings,” Batra told HT.
A Central government notification dated January 9, 2007, assigning the Nithari killings probe to the CBI had asked the agency to investigate the kidnapping and suspected murder of the 19 victims. The government’s notification had not directed the CBI to fix any alleged lapse on the part of government officials in the incidents.
“All the policemen suspended or dismissed in the Nithari case were reinstated, including then Nithari chowki in-charge Simranjit Kaur,” Batra said.
He added, “The Noida authority, too, didn’t take any action against those responsible for the non-cleaning of the drain that could otherwise have led to the detection of the victims’ skeletons. Who is responsible? Who will punish the negligent public authorities?”
“In a January 2007 report submitted by Manjula Krishnan, economic adviser to the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development, it was stated that if the administration had cleaned the sewerage system regularly, the bodies could have been discovered earlier and some deaths prevented,” said Batra.
The Nithari killings were detected on December 29, 2006, when the Noida police found 19 skulls and bones of children and girls from a dry drain behind the D5 bungalow in Sector 31.
The bungalow’s owner Moninder Singh Pandher and his domestic help Surinder Koli were arrested.
Till now, the CBI has filed chargesheets in 16 of 19 cases, holding Koli responsible for the rapes and murders.
Pandher was made accused only in one case of Payal, daughter of Nand Lal, and that, too, under the lesser charge of conspiracy under Sector 120 B of IPC and other minor charges.
Last February, a special court had awarded death to Pandher and Koli in one cases.