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Cabinet for impartial probe on Nithari killings

The cabinet discussed the murder of the 20 children killed in Noida and demanded an investigation into the issue.

india Updated: Jan 04, 2007 15:25 IST

The cabinet on Thursday discussed the killings of at least 20 children in Nithari village near New Delhi and stressed the need for an impartial probe.

Although the matter was not in the agenda, the macabre crime saga that has shocked the nation was discussed in the cabinet meeting headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"Home Minister (Shivraj Patil) is very concerned," Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told reporters after the meet.

Police last week unearthed remains of a number of children - at least 20, out of which 12 have been identified - from a drain behind a bungalow near Nithari village in Noida in Uttar Pradesh.

A businessman and his domestic help were arrested last week on charges of kidnapping and sexually abusing children before killing them.

"What has happened is very unfortunate and a blot on civilised society," Dasmunsi said, adding that the Uttar Pradesh government should have taken action as soon as the children were reported missing.

While refusing to comment on the Supreme Court's rejection of a petition demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) enquiry, the minister said a high-level probe was desirable.

Commenting that the state government had accepted that the police had not acted as it should have, the minister wondered: "How an impartial enquiry by the state police and the administration is possible?"

He said Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav should have gone to the spot to assess the situation because it was not a "minor incident".

Dasmunsi said the political parties should rise above political considerations to ensure a thorough probe.

The central government on Wednesday formed a four member high-level committee to probe the killings even as the state government formed its own two-member panel on the issue.

First Published: Jan 04, 2007 15:25 IST