2006 Noida serial
The 2006 Noida serial murder
investigation began in December 2006 when the skeletal remains of a
number of missing children were discovered in the village of Nithari,
India on the outskirts of Noida, a planned industrial township in Uttar
Pradesh near New Delhi.
On December 26, 2006, a rich and
politically connected Punjabi businessman, Moninder Singh Pandher, and
his servant, Surender Koli, were arrested by the Delhi Police on the
suspicion of murdering a call girl named "Payal". Charges under various
sections of the Indian Penal Code included rape, murder, kidnapping and
criminal conspiracy. Pandher and Koli were sentenced to death on
February 13, 2009.
Events leading to primary
A view of a public place in NoidaOn
December 29, 2006, two Nithari residents claimed they knew the location
of remains belonging to children who had gone missing in the previous
two years: the municipal water tank behind house D5.
Both had daughters who had
disappeared, and they suspected Surender Koli, the domestic help at D5,
had something to do with the disappearances. The residents claimed they
had been repeatedly ignored by local authorities, therefore they sought
the help of former Resident Welfare Association (RWA) President S C
That morning, Mishra and the two
residents searched the tank drain, and one of the residents claimed to
have found a decomposed hand, after which they called the police. By the
time police arrived, local residents claimed they had found three
partial skeletons in the drain.
Anxious parents of the missing
children rushed to Nithari with photographs. Koli, under the alias
Satish, later confessed to killing six children and a 20-year-old call
girl known as "Payal" after sexually assaulting them.
The residents alleged that the
police were corrupt and involved with the rich people. Demands were made
for an independent probe into the matter. One of the residents asserted
that the police were claiming credit for discovering the bodies when it
was the residents who dug them up. The police denied having found
fifteen bodies. They reiterated that they had discovered skulls, bones
and other body parts, and said they were unable to give a figure for the
number of victims. The victims' identities and number could only be
established with DNA tests. The police then sealed the house and did not
allow news media anywhere near the scene of crime.
The Central government tried to
ascertain the facts behind the discovery of the skeletal remains and
whether it had "inter-state ramifications". Law and order is a state's
subject but the Home ministry asked for details about the magnitude of
It was later revealed by the media
that Pandher was picked up by the police on December 26 and Koli on
December 27 in connection with the disappearance of "Payal". After
Koli's confession, the police claimed to have started digging up the
nearby land area and discovered the children's bodies.
Two policemen were suspended on
December 31 in connection with the serial murders as angry residents
charged the house of the alleged mastermind. The policemen were
suspended for dereliction of duty in the wake of the allegations by the
locals that the police had refused to take any action when they were
informed about a number of children missing.
The situation at Nithari got
aggravated as an irate mob of villagers fought pitched battles with the
police, both pelting stones at each other, just outside the residence of
the accused. The police also detained a maid named Maya whom they
suspected had a hand in procuring women for the businessman. As more
body parts were dug out from near the premises of the house, hundreds of
local residents descended on the spot and alleged that there was an
organ trade angle to the grisly killings of young children.
A doctor living close to the
Pandher residence, Navin Choudhary, had been under police suspicion a
few years prior in connection with an alleged kidney racket at his
hospital. Searches were conducted throughout the properties owned by him,
and the investigators could not derive any information to support the
On January 1, 2007, the remand
magistrate granted the police custody of the two until January 10, 2007,
as the investigators said that further interrogation was required to
complete the recovery of victims' remains. The court also granted
permission for Narco Analysis.
On the same evening, police
conducted a raid on Pandher's Chandigarh residence. His wife and son
were interrogated and questions were asked about Pandher's habits.
Police sources disclosed that their relationship with him was "strained"
but his behaviour was "normal". A senior police inspector revealed that
there would be a series of searches conducted at Pandher's Ludhiana
farmhouse and nearby places. The recent child kidnapping cases in
Chandigarh—Pandher's hometown—were re-opened.
It was on the next day that 15 of
the 17 skeletons discovered in the village were identified. Ten of them
were identified by Koli when he was confronted with the photographs of
the missing children. Five others were identified by family members
after being shown belongings recovered from the scene. The torsos of the
bodies were missing and the investigating team was looking into
possibilities of the motivation of the killings to be that of organ
trade. The police said that there were at least 31 child victims.
Security was increased as police
expected more disturbance, following two days of violence near Pandher's
residence. In a press statement, Chief Justice of India K. G.
Balakrishnan asserted that the investigation was at a preliminary level,
and neither the courts nor the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
were involved at that point.
The inquiry committee report
The Central Government, however,
constituted a high-level inquiry committee to go into the police lapses,
during the period of reporting and investigation.
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh,
Mulayam Singh Yadav said that he would await the report of the committee
looking into the issue before making the decision whether there should
be a CBI probe into the matter. The committee is headed by the Joint
Secretary, Women and Child Development Ministry, Manjula Krishnan. Under
the terms of the reference,
This committee would take stock of
the efforts made by the Noida police in locating the children who went
It would assess the level of
cooperation and assistance provided by the local administration, to
locate the missing children and unite them with their families.
It would go through the modus
operandi and the motives of the accused.
The panel met the parents of the of
the victims to record their statements even as the police determined
that out of the 17 confirmed people killed, 10 were girls. Parents of
eight of the sexually abused children were given compensation of Rs. 12
lakh. The DNA samples from the human remains were sent to forensic
laboratory in Hyderabad for the identification of the victims while
forensic samples were sent to the laboratory in Agra for determining the
age, cause of death and other details. It was determined that Payal was
the only victim identified as adult in this case, with all other 11
victims below the age of 10.
Seven of the eight families that
had been provided compensation of Rs. 2 lakh on January 3, 2007 returned
their cheques in protest. However, the cheques were soon returned back
to them. They demanded houses and jobs in compensation.
After reeling under a lot of
relentless pressure and public outcry, the Uttar Pradesh Government
suspended two superintendents of police and dismissed six policemen for
dereliction of duty. This action followed the report by the four-member
On January 17, 2007 the inquiry
committee submitted its reports severely indicting the Uttar Pradesh
police for "gross negligence" in handling the cases of missing persons.
The committee said that the local administration was negligent and
irresponsible while dealing with the missing persons reports and did not
rule out organ trade as a possible motive behind the killings.
The call girl angle
The two accused in the case were
already in police custody while the skeletal remains of the young
children were being unearthed at the Pandher residence. An FIR had been
filed on October 7, 2006. Investigations revealed that Payal's cellphone
was being used although the SIM card she owned remained inactive.
Through digital surveillance, the investigators were able to track down
a number of people and could finally reach the man who sold the phone.
The rickshaw cart puller affirmed that the phone belonged to someone
from the Pandher residence.
After the affirmation of the facts
by the witness, Moninder Singh was called for interrogation, which
subsequently revealed nothing. His aide and servant, Surender Koli was
picked up the next day and he confessed killing the woman and dumping
her body behind the house. The police started digging and henceforth
recovered the skeletal remains of the missing children.
Nand Lal, the father of the girl –
Deepika alias Payal, alleged that the police had threatened and harassed
him. He stated that it was because of the court intervention that the
police officers registered the FIR. Nand Lal said that he was accused of
being a blackmailer and his daughter was called a woman of easy virtue.
Suspicions of child pornography
The investigating teams seized
erotic literature along with a laptop computer connected to a webcam,
which immediately raised the apprehensions of the presence of an
international child pornography racket. The police also recovered some
photographs of Pandher with nude children and foreigners, during his
four international visits. It was apprehended that Pandher supplied such
pictures abroad and could link him to paedophilia.
Suspicions of organ trade and
The police initially suspected an
organ trade angle as to the motive behind the murders and raided the
house of a doctor who lived in the neighbourhood of the prime accused. A
team of officials was accompanied by a team of forensic experts to pick
up probable evidence for tests. The police revealed that the doctor had
been accused of similar crime in the year 1998, although the court had
later absolved him in the same year. This was a second raid in a few
The police was however, cautious
with the news reports indicting the accused of cannibalism even before
the polygraph tests had barely begun. They were left aghast when they
learned that one of the accused had even confessed to the consumption of
the victims' livers and other body parts. Such a possibility was,
however, not completely ruled out by the investigating team, considering
the amount of brutality the duo had allegedly committed on the victims.
Brain mapping and narco analysis
The accused duo were brought to the
Directorate of Forensic Sciences, Gandhinagar city for undergoing a
series of medical tests. Brain mapping and polygraph tests were
conducted on January 4, 2007 and narco analysis five days later. The
police director told the scribes that both the accused had been
cooperative during the tests and examinations. The directorate officials
did not make any revelations to the public media.
A senior director of the institute
announced the conclusion of the extensive tests and declared that no
conclusion had been drawn. The police sources said that during the first
day of the tests, Moninder Singh revealed a number of his high-profile
connections with the ministers and others who frequented his residence
The CBI investigation
After four days of discourse and
mounting pressure from the Centre, the Uttar Pradesh government decided
to hand over the inquiry to the Central Bureau of Investigation. The
notification came after the Department of Personnel and Training, which
governs the CBI sent a letter to the state government about making a
proper request for a probe by the agency in line with the prescribed
The two accused were taken away to
an undisclosed location on the night of January 11, 2007, a day before
the investigation was to be transferred to the Central Bureau of
Investigation. The CBI continued its investigation and discovered three
more skulls and human remains at the site of the serial killings. The
investigators searched the drains and found three skulls, believed to be
of the children and several body parts, including parts of legs, bones
and torso. Several objects were found that are believed to belong to the
victims. The exhibits were sealed and forwarded to forensic labs.
The Central enquiry committee that
investigated the serial killings discovered serious lapses on the part
of the police in handling the cases of missing persons. The published
report was provided to the CBI to aid the agency in its probe. The
reports were incriminating and proclaimed that the local police failed
in their duty to admit their complaints over the past two years.
The discovery of several gunny bags
containing parts of human torsos led the investigators to believe that
it was unlikely that the accused had links to illegal organ trade. The
CBI team discovered the bags in the drains outside the Pandher residence.
After interrogating Surinder Koli, they came to a prima facie conclusion
that "he is a psychopath who used to carry out the killings".
Interrogators also said that it was possible that Pandher had no role to
play in the murders.
The seized materials were sent to
laboratory for post-mortem, individualisation and DNA extraction. The
materials received from the Uttar Pradesh police were also forwarded for
forensic examination. Some liquor bottles, a double-barrel gun,
cartridges, mobile phones, photographs, photo albums and a blood-stained
grill were handed over to the CBI for extensive examination. Preliminary
investigations revealed that the bones were not more than two years old.
The CBI also revealed that only fifteen skulls had been found thus far,
and not seventeen as claimed by the state police.
A three-member CBI
team questioned the kin members of Surendra Koli in the Almora district.
In November 2007, the Supreme Court
issued notice to CBI in case on the allegation by a relative of the
victim that the investigating agency was trying to shield Moninder Singh
Pandher, one of the key accused in the case.
The call girl was the only adult
victim in the string of serial murders. Young girls constituted the
majority of victims. Post mortem reports of the 17 sets of skulls and
bones recovered showed that 11 of the killed were girls. The top doctors
of the Noida Government Hospital revealed that there was a "butcher-like
precision" in the chopping of the bodies. The post mortem reports
revealed that there had been a pattern in the killings. A gory
revelation was made by the AIIMS on February 06, 2007. It was also
concluded that there were 19 skulls in all, 16 complete and 3 damaged.
The bodies had been cut into three pieces before being disposed off by
the servant Surender Koli. The CBI sources said that the manservant,
after strangulating the victims, used to sever their head and throw it
in the drain behind the house of his employer. Sources also revealed
that he used to keep the viscera in a polythene bag before disposing it
off in a drain, so as to prevent detection. The skulls and the other bio-material
remains were forwarded to the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and
Diagnostics, Hyderabad for further profiling.
Surender Koli and Moninder Singh
Pandher is an industrialist who
studied from 1963-73 at the prestigious Bishop Cotton School in Shimla
and graduated from St. Stephen's College, Delhi.
On 12 February 2009, both the
accused Moninder Singh Pandher and his domestic help Surender Koli were
found guilty of the 8 February 2005 murder of Rimpa Haldar, 14, by a
special sessions court in Gaziabad. This verdict left the Central Bureau
of Investigation (CBI) red faced, as the CBI had earlier given a clean
chit to Moninder Singh Pandher in all its chargesheets. Both the accused
Moninder Singh Pandher and his domestic help Surender Koli were given
death sentence on 13 February 2009, as the case was classified as "rarest
of rare". On 4 May 2010, Koli was found guilty of the 25 October 2006
murder of Arti Prasad, 7, and given a second death sentence eight days
later. On 27 September 2010, Koli was found guilty of the 10 April 2006
murder of Rachna Lal, 8 or 9, and given a third death sentence the
On September 10, 2009, The
Allahabad high court acquitted Moninder Singh Pandher and overturned his
death sentence. He was not named a main suspect by investigators
initially, but was summoned as co-accused during the trial. Pandher
faces trial in five cases out of the remaining 13, and could be re-sentenced
to death if found guilty in any of those killings. The same day Pandher
was acquitted, the Allahabad high court upheld the death sentence for
Surender Koli, former domestic servant of Pandher
Pandher acquitted in Nithari murder case
The Morung Express
September 11, 2009
Allahabad (Agencies): In a major development the Allahabad High
Court on Friday acquitted businessman Moninder Singh Pandher in the rape
and murder of a 14-year-old teenager Rimpa Haldhar, who was one of the
children strangled at his Nithari residence.
The Allahabad High Court observed
that there was no substantial evidence to prove Pandher’s criminal
involvement in the case. However, the Allahabad High Court upheld the
death sentence awarded to his domestic help Surinder Koli. The Allahabad
HC ruling has sent shockwaves across the country and disappointed Rimpa’s
family, which has confirmed that it will appeal against the judgement in
the Supreme Court.
The development comes moths after
MS Pandher and his servant Surinder Koli were sentenced to death by a
special court in February for rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl
Rimpa Halder, one of 19 victims in the sensational Nithari serial
killings. Pronouncing the sentence in a packed court room, Special CBI
judge Rama Jain held the crimes committed by 55-year-old Pandher and 38-year-old
Koli to be ‘‘rarest of rare’’ deserving capital punishment.
While the counsel of victim’s
family Khalid Khan termed the verdict as a grave disappointement. The
businessman’s son Karandeep Singh on the other hand said his father was
innocent and the verdict was an endorsement of the family’s long term
stand. He also cited his acquittal in some of the previous cases related
with Nithari as a signal for things to come.
The Court had earlier convicted
Pandher and his servant under various sections of the Indian Penal Code
(IPC) for murder, rape, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence.
In the final arguments on Friday, the CBI had sought death penalty for
Koli and left the quantum of punishment for Pandher for the court to
decide as the agency had no charges against him in this case. As many as
18 cases have been lodged against Pandher in the infamous Nithari
The Times of India
Following is the chronology of
events in the gruesome Nithari serial killing of children:
Dec 29, 2006: Nithari killings came
to light with the discovery of eight skeletal remains of children from
the drain of a house in Nithari, Noida. Two suspects- owner of the house
Moninder Singh Pandher and his domestic help Surinder Koli arrested.
Dec 30: More skeletons tumble out
of the drainage
Dec 31: Two beat constables
suspended as political pressure starts building up.
Jan 05, 2007: The accused taken to
Gandhinagar for extensive narco-analysis test by Uttar Pradesh police
Jan 10: CBI takes over
investigations in the case.
Jan 11: First CBI team visits
Nithari to initiate probe in the case. 30 more bones found near the
Jan 12: Moninder Singh Pandher and
Surinder Koli quizzed by CBI
Jan 20: UP government files report
to National Human Rights Commission
Feb 8: Special CBI court sends
Moninder Singh Pandher and Surinder Koli to 14 days of CBI custody
Feb 12: National Human Rights
Commission forms a committee to study the matter.
Mar 22: CBI files first chargesheet
in the case in the Ghaziabad court. Slaps lesser charges on Moninder
Singh Pandher. Surinder Koli, charged of committing all the murders
besides rape and kidnap
May 1: Parents of three victims of
the Nithari serial killings move court against the CBI for letting off
main accused Pandher in connection with kidnapping and murder
May 11: Ghaziabad court asks CBI to
probe Pandher's role in the killings
Sep 6: Body of Jatin Sarkar, father
of one of the victims in the Nithari serial killings recovered from a
river in West Bengal's Murshidabad district
Nov 01: The Supreme Court issues a
notice to the CBI on the allegation by a relative of a victim that the
investigating agency was trying to shield Pandher
Dec 13: Special CBI Court in
Ghaziabad frames charges against Moninder Singh Pandher for the rape and
murder of two teenagers
Feb 12, 2009: Special Judge of CBI
pronounces Pandher and Koli guilty of rape and murder
Death for Pandher,
Koli in Nithari case
The Times of India
February 14, 2009
The death sentence is reserved for "the rarest of rare cases". But
in the first of the sensational Nithari serial murder cases to be
decided, the verdict itself has turned out to be the rarest of rare.
For, businessman Moninder Singh Pandher was awarded death sentence
on Friday, along with his servant Surender Koli, as the trial court
disregarded the prosecution's contention that he was not even in the
country three years ago when Koli lured and killed 14-year-old girl
Rimpa Halder from a nearby slum.
Special judge Rama Jain did not dispute that Pandher was out of the
country when Rimpa was killed. But still, she held him guilty of
conspiring with Koli to rape and murder the young girl on the premise
that the businessman had planned the crime which was executed by his
servant. The court's reasoning for ascribing "criminal conspiracy" to
Pandher was that his "hedonistic lifestyle" was responsible for bringing
out "criminal tendencies" in Koli.
This seems to be a deviation from the norm of invoking the charge of
conspiracy only when there is "reasonable ground to believe" that the co-accused
had conspired to commit the offence. In this case, it may be regarded as
no more than an assumption.
The sensational case also saw an unusual situation in which one of
the two death sentences was given without any prompting from the
prosecution -- in this case, the CBI. Having not named him as an accused
in its charge sheet, CBI did not argue on the quantum of sentence to be
given to Pandher. In fact, the agency could not establish that he had
any knowledge of Rimpa's existence.
After the sentence, CBI issued a statement clarifying that it was
not soft on Pandher and that it had gone purely by "legally admissible
evidence". It added that its probe was "thorough" and examined from "all
Pandher's wife and son said they would challenge the verdict before
the Allahabad High Court, while the counsel for Rimpa's father, Khaled
Khan, saw it as "a slap on the face of CBI." CBI had given a clean chit
to Pandher on the basis of his wife's statement and his passport, which
showed that he was away in Australia at the time of Rimpa's murder.
Relying extensively on Koli's confessional statement recorded before
a magistrate under section 164 CrPC, the judge noted, "before joining
Pandher's house as a servant, Koli had earlier worked with several other
households but he committed this gruesome crime because Pandher brought
call girls home and slept with more than two or three of them
occasionally. Koli used to cook for all of them while Pandher would
drink alcohol, all this brought out worst criminal tendencies and sexual
depravity of Koli goading him to commit murders."
Koli in his statement before the magistrate had admitted he was more
at peace in Pandher's absence as these tendencies remained at bay. The
judge also zeroed in on circumstantial evidence to nail Pandher — that
he lived in the house D-5 at Noida from 2004 until the serial killings
came out in the open in December 2006 and that several murders occurred
during this period; human bones and skulls in polythene bags were
recovered from the front and back of the house; and finally, Koli's
"Bones and skulls were recovered in such a mass scale from near a
house which wasn't less than a slaughterhouse. The odour would have
spread within a kilometre's radius," observed the court saying it was
highly unlikely Pandher would have been unaware such mass crimes were
happening inside his house.
Making shortwork of CBI's clean chit, the judge made it clear mere
knowledge of the crime and circumstantial evidence in the form of
recoveries squarely implicates the businessman. "The job of CBI
prosecutors during this trial was to aid the working of criminal justice
system not to go along with whatever the chargesheet said," was the
judges' terse observation.
The court also set much store by the fact that a saw used in the
crime had been recovered at the instance of Pandher. His lawyers had
argued Koli's confession under section 164 also made it clear that
Pandher had nothing to do with Rimpa's murder. But judge Jain held firm.
Pronouncing the sentence in a packed court room, judge Jain on
Thursday held the crimes committed by 55-year-old Pandher and 38-year-old
Koli to be "rarest of rare" deserving capital punishment.
"In the said case, a helpless, poor girl has been raped by the
accused who resorted to extremely barbaric, inhuman and unkind act which
has no precedence. The manner in which the horrendous act has been
carried out even puts that era into shame when humanity wasn't civilised,"
the court noted, justifying the imposition of the maximum penalty.
The judge rejected any calls for leniency. She said, "This crime is
against womanhood and a blot on society. The manner in which the crime
has been done, death sentence can be the only justice because there was
not an iota of indication that the convicts will mend their ways or
reform their character in the future."
Earlier in the morning, the CBI had sought death penalty for Koli
and left the quantum of punishment for Pandher for the court to decide
as the agency had no charges against him in this case.
After the verdict, Pandher broke into tears while Koli remained
Portraits of the ‘murderers’
A class VI dropout, Koli worked as a domestic help in
businessman Moninder Singh Pandher’s house in Noida. He is alleged to
have sexually assaulted and killed as many as 15 children and three
women in Noida’s sector-31 house within a span of one-and-a half years.
In first of the 19 cases in Nithari, Koli was convicted of raping and
murdering 14-year-old Rimpa Halder.
He allegedly lured children — both girls and boys —
to the house of his employer Moninder Singh Pandher. Pandher allegedly
abused them sexually and handed them over to Koli who in turn abused the
victims before killing them. He disposed the bodies in nearby drains
after putting the chopped parts in different bags.
The law caught up with Koli on December 29, 2006,
after numerous complaints by Nithari villagers whose children had
disappeared. Police search led to recovery of fifteen human skulls,
skeletal remains and fragments of clothes stuffed in gunny bags from the
drain behind bungalow number D-5 where Koli worked.
Police said during interrogation Koli hardly ever
showed any remorse, but he did turn emotional when questioned about his
three-year-old daughter Simran.
Before landing in Delhi, Koli did odd jobs, skinned
animals for a living and sometimes ate raw flesh. In Delhi, his first
job was to wash utensils at a rundown hotel in New Delhi.
He then got a job as a cook at the house of a retired
brigadier in Sector 29, Noida, and worked there from 1993 to 1998. In
1998, he returned to his village to get married. Within a month of his
marriage, he again left home. He left his wife Shanti behind and landed
He worked for six years at the house of a retired
army major, who then introduced him to businessman Moninder Singh
Pandher. Soon after, he left his job to work at Pandher’s mansion.
Moninder Singh Pandher
Appearances can be deceptive. Nobody would agree more
with the adage than friends and relatives of nondescript-looking 55-year-old,
Moninder Singh Pandher, the industrialist who along with his cook were
charged with conspiracy behind the murder and attempted rape of Rimpa
Nothing about Pandher ever evoked suspicion from
friends and family as to the horrific goings-on in his Noida home. News
of Pandher’s crime came as a shock to schoolmates from alma mater Bishop
Cotton School in Shimla. For them, “Goldy” as Pandher was lovingly
called, had always been an amiable and wonderful chap. Pandher came from
an affluent business family in Punjab, graduated from Delhi’s
prestigious St. Stephen’s College and inherited a successful family
Investigators however have a different story to tell.
They say Pandher had a disturbed childhood. His marriage too was a
failure. For years he had been living alone at the D-5 house in Noida.
His wife Devinder Kaur and son Karandeep lived separately at the
family’s home in Chandigarh. Pandher would visit his family once in a
Police claimed Pandher lived a life of luxury. He
loved his drink, played golf and in his spare time read up on nightmares.
He had visited Los Angeles, Switzerland, Dubai, Canada and China. He
lived on the ground floor of his double storey bunglow. And his servant,
Surendra Kohli, lived on the first floor.
When policemen took mediapersons inside the D-5 house
after Pandher’s arrest, they found vintage wine bottles in the cellar,
golf clubs and fancy furniture. Police seized laptops and CDs from his
house, which they alleged carried photographs of Pandher posing with
In fact, had Noida Police heeded to complaints of
Nithari residents; many young lives could have been saved. Allegations
have been levelled that Pandher kept the police happy during the time he
lived in Noida.
He allegedly paid Rs 2.5 lakh to a gazetted rank
officer after he was rounded up even before December 29, 2006, for his
involvement in disappearance of children from the same area.
investigators find 3 more skulls
January 15, 2007
investigators recovered three more skulls near the home of a businessman
suspected of killing up to 38 women and children, media reports said
Sunday. The skulls were found in a drain outside the home in Noida, an
industrial and software hub adjoining New Delhi, bringing to 20 the
number uncovered so far, the Times of India newspaper reported.
top federal investigating agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation or
CBI, resumed searches near the home after taking over the case last week
from local police who were slammed for failing to properly investigate
dozens of reports of missing children from a nearby slum.
At least 38
children have gone missing from the slum in the past two years. The
investigators also discovered a bag containing human body parts, bones
and clothes from the drain, the Hindu newspaper reported. CBI officials
were not immediately available for comment Sunday.
Police have arrested
the businessman and his servant, who allegedly killed the children and
women after sexually assaulting them. The two — businessman Moninder
Singh Pandher and his domestic helper, Surender Kohli — have been
charged with kidnapping, raping and killing the victims and then dumping
their dismembered bodies into storm drains near Pandher's house. Angry
protests and political rallies have erupted after skulls and other body
parts were first found on Dec. 29.
Accused serial killer admits necrophilia
January 12, 2007
in the gruesome murders of 17 people, mostly children, near India's
capital has told investigators he had sex with the dead bodies and ate
their organs. The Times of India said Surender Koli admitted to carrying
out the crimes alone and that his employer, businessman Moninder Singh
Pandher, who was also arrested and charged, was unaware of the killing
The grisly revelations emerged after the two accused were
subjected to "narco-analysis" — including truth drugs, polygraph tests
and brain mapping — at a national forensic laboratory. Results of the
tests are not admissible as evidence in court, but are designed to help
police with their investigation.
Residents say at least 38 people,
mostly children, have disappeared from the area, and that police had
ignored their complaints that the children were missing. The killings
have dominated the front pages of all newspapers. The two were arrested
on December 29 in New Delhi's affluent Noida suburb after an
overwhelming stench led to the discovery of carefully chopped-up body
parts in a drain next to Pandher's home. But Pandher was apparently
unaware that his servant used sweets and chocolates to lure the victims
to the house, before killing them and raping their bodies, the Times of
Koli, who previously worked as a cook in a hotel, narrated
how and when he killed his 17 victims with precision. He also remembered
the names of 15 victims, the newspaper said, quoting unnamed
investigators involved in the tests. "Sahab (master) did not know," Koli
was quoted as telling investigators, adding the murders were committed
when Pandher was away. Asked what he had done with the missing torsos of
the victims, Koli disclosed that he ate some of the organs and cut up
others and flushed them down the toilet. The dismembered parts were
disposed of separately.
Koli said his first victim was a four-year-old
girl. He admitted to trying to eat the child's liver, but said he
vomited immediately. His co-accused, meanwhile, emerged from the tests
as a womaniser who used Koli as a pimp to find him prostitutes.
Pandher's family said the reports of the narco-analysis test results
were a relief. "I had always thought Surendra (Koli, the servant) was
behind all this. My father used to be out of town for long periods on
business," Pandher's 23-year-old son, Karan, told the newspaper. Police
in Noida had been investigating whether organ trade was a motive for the
killings because the torsos of the victims were not found and only their
skulls, limb bones and clothes were recovered from the sewer near
Pandher's house. But according to the Times of India, Koli might have
been trying to cure his "impotency".
India's federal Central Bureau of
Investigation said it would begin its probe into the case from Thursday.
"Our director Vijay Shanker has said that we received a notification
from the federal government asking us to begin a probe into the
killings," a spokesman for the agency said. "Our office received the
notification yesterday (Wednesday) evening," he said, adding the agency
will attach the "highest priority to the case" and "probe its entire
With fresh FIRs CBI to question Nithari's serial killer
January 11, 2007
Singh Pandher and his servant Surender Koli alias Satish accused in the
heinous serial killings of close to forty children in Nithari arrived in
the national capital on Thursday morning.
The narco-analysis test, which
was conducted on the duo in Gandhinagar's Central Forensic Laboratory
for the past one week, was completed on Wednesday afternoon, the results
of which will be completed in the next two days.
The duo were taken to Noida's Sector 20 police station at around seven in the morning, where
he will be handed to the CBI later in the day, as the central
investigative agency has already taken over the investigations. CBI on
late Wednesday night confirmed of receiving the 19 FIRs that were filed
by the Special Investigating team of the Uttar Pradesh police and has
said that it will file fresh FIRs in the case. "We have received a
notification from the Government that we are to take over the case from
the UP Police," CBI Director Vijay Shankar told reporters.
The CBI has
also called a special team of forensic experts from Gandhinagar and
Hyderabad CFSL to analyse the evidence collected from Pandher's D-5
bungalow in Nithari, where the alleged killing took place. It is most
likely that the forensic expert may visit the site again and would try
to collect fresh evidence from the place.
The central investigative
agency finally took over the investigations on Wednesday after it
received the notifications from the State Government in the proper
format. After much difference with the Centre over the formal modalities
involved in seeking CBI probe, the Uttar Pradesh Government finally
issued a notification to the Centre for a CBI probe into the Nithari
Earlier, the Uttar Pradesh had merely asked the Centre to
order a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe without issuing a
notification. With the Centre pointing out the lacunae in the Uttar
Pradesh government's move, the State issued the required notification
enabling transfer of the case of recovery of skeletal remains from Nithari in Noida as well as the probe into the Meerut lecturer Kavita
Rani murder case to the CBI.
The notification from UP's Home Secretary R
M Srivastava came after the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT),
which governs the CBI, sent a letter to the state's home department
about making a proper notification under Section 5 of the Delhi Special
Police Establishment Act in proper format.
Coming under pressure from
all quarters of the state police's handling of the Nithari case, Chief
Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav had announced on January 5 that the State
would seek a CBI inquiry into the matter.
The CBI is also slated to
probe into the dereliction of duty by the police officers as till date
two Superintendents of Police have been suspended and seven other
policemen dismissed. 14-member team of the UP police till now has been
investigating the incident but it has yet to make any headway into the
The police are pinning hope on the results of the narco-analysis
test, brain mapping test and polygraph (lie detecting) test carried out
on the accused to find new revelations and the motive behind the
killings. Apart from this, a high-level inter-ministerial committee is
already probing the incident.
The four-member Committee set up by the
Centre is headed by Joint Secretary, Union Women and Child Development Manjula Krishnan and is expected to submit its report by January 18. The
committee is looking into the alleged negligence of the police and would
also go into the modus operandi and the motive of the accused persons
involved in it.
CBI begins probe of Noida murders
January 10, 2007
Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday registered 19 cases in the
serial killings in Noida. CBI Director Vijay Shankar said the cases will
be given priority. "The government of India has issued notification,
there are 19 cases and separate teams to investigate them".
Psychiatrists will examine the two serial killers to check their mental
health. The narco-analysis tests on them have been completed.
remand of Moninder Singh and Surender Koli, the main accused in the
Noida serial killings, has been extended by two days. Meanwhile, major
leads are emerging from the narco-analysis test on Surinder, one of the
two accused in the case. Sources have told NDTV that during the narco
test conducted on him at the Forensic Sciences Laboratory in Gandhinagar
on Monday, Surinder said that he killed the victims out of sexual
frustration. He also said that he was a necrophiliac, which is one
having sexual contact with or an erotic desire for dead bodies.
while describing how he would dispose of the bodies, said he would cut
the bodies into pieces, dump the bigger bodies in the back drain of
their house in Nithari and the smaller bodies in the main drain. When
asked whose idea it was to murder the victims after they were sexually
assaulted, Surinder is understood to have said that Moninder told him to
dump the bodies.
Inconsistencies in statement It could indicate that Moninder had some involvement in the actual murders. There are however,
reports of inconsistencies in Surinder's statement on Moninder's
involvement in the murders. Surinder has said that the police had
earlier come to their house but did not know anything about the bodies
and had come in connection with reports of call girls at the house.
is also believed to have said that Moninder used to entertain VIPs,
policemen and call girls and that a lot of cars would arrive at their
house between 11 pm and 2 am. Asked about the role of Maya, the domestic
help at Moninder's house, Surinder is believed to have said that she was
not involved. And when asked whether there was an organ racket going on,
Surinder said he did not know what an organ racket was. Meanwhile,
Moninder, the main accused in the Noida serial killings, underwent a
narco-analysis test at the Forensic Sciences Laboratory in Gandhinagar
One alleged serial killer undergoes narco analysis test
January 8, 2007
experts in Gandhinagar Monday conducted a narco analysis test on
Surendra, one of the two men accused in the serial killings of at least
20 children in Noida, while police declared the other accused, Moninder
Singh Pandher, medically fit to undergo the test. Surendra went through
the test at the Forensic Sciences Laboratory in Gandhinagar.
businessman master, Moninder Singh, was not made to undergo the test
after he complained of health problems late Sunday and had to be
hospitalised. After checking Moninder Singh's blood sugar level and his
complaint of minor chest pain, he was discharged Monday. 'As Moninder
had health problems, Surendra underwent the narco test first. Moninder
will under go the test soon,' said a top police official in Noida.
the men were flown to Ahmedabad Friday morning and were taken to the
Forensic Sciences Laboratory for a lie-detection, brain mapping and
narco-analysis tests as part of investigations into the gruesome
killings of several children in Noida after they were allegedly first
sexually molested. The brain mapping and lie detection tests have been
done on both.
Meanwhile, police in Noida continued their interrogation
of Moninder Singh's maid Maya Sarkar and her husband. Maya has been
working in his Sector 31 house for over a year. 'We are interrogating
both of them as we believe they can be prime witnesses in the case,'
said a senior police official. He refused to divulge details of the
Police also sealed the D-5 bungalow of Moninder Singh
ahead of handing over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation
(CBI). 'We are not allowing anyone except forensic experts from Agra
inside the house,' police added. Since Dec 29, skeletal remains,
slippers and tattered clothes of at least 20 children were dug out from
a drain behind Moninder Singh's bungalow.
Family says serial killer suspect is ‘no monster’
January 7, 2007
and son of a businessman suspected of the rape and mass murder of
children in a case that has sparked outrage in India said yesterday he
was not a monster and claimed he had been framed.
Moninder Singh Pandher
and his servant, Surender Kohli, were questioned by police using truth
serum or sodium penthanol for a second day yesterday to try to discover
the motive and exact number of killings.
Pandher’s son Karan told
reporters that his father should not be deemed guilty before being given
a fair trial. "Do not accuse him right now. He is just a suspect. He is
not a monster. Come on, have a heart. He has a family. He has a son,"
Karan Pandher said. "If my father is found guilty — it’s hard for me to
say this — he should get the highest punishment. He should get capital
punishment," he told the private Zee News network in an interview.
people of Nithari, children and my father need justice. But my father
has not got a fair trial yet," Karan said. He said because of the case,
their family business had suffered. "Now no one wants to do business
with us. I appeal to all that we are not bad people."
A woman identified
as Moninder Pandher’s wife also defended the man and denied media
reports that the couple lived separately because of differences. "He is
not guilty, not at all. This thing about children, it’s rubbish. He is
being framed. There’s no truth in it," Devinder Kaur told Zee network.
An autopsy report said the 17 bodies, mainly of young girls from poor
families, found near Pandher’s house last week had been sliced with
"butcher-like" precision. The victims lived in Nithari village in the
affluent Noida township near New Delhi and had been missing for up to
Residents say at least 38 people, mostly children, have
disappeared from the area and that police had ignored their complaints
the children were missing. The killings have dominated the front pages
of all newspapers.
The Times of India newspaper yesterday said the
accused Kohli had confessed to eating the livers of his victims and
having sex with dead bodies, under the headline "Cannibal Surendra?" The
report did not reveal the source for the information.
The Indian Express
reported that police suspected Pandher may have been involved in an
international pornography racket after they found photographs of nude
children and evidence he had taken several foreign trips.
dismissed the news reports as speculative and declined to give details
of investigations that were being handed over to the federal Central
Bureau of Investigation (CBI). "The case has been transferred to the
CBI. We can’t say anything now. The media reports are based on
speculation," investigation official Dinesh Yadav said. "I fail to
understand how the media has concluded this when the narco analysis test
on the accused has barely started," Noida Senior Superintendent of
Police R K S Rathore said. "It is rather early and premature to say
anything right now. But considering the glaring perversion and
brutalities, we do not rule out any possibility."
Police earlier said
they were probing whether the victims were killed so that their organs,
such as kidneys, could be sold. However, a medical expert here has ruled
it out. "Removal of the kidneys from a human body is a very delicate
process and has to be necessarily done on a person with a beating heart,
so that the blood circulation process is on. You cannot remove the
kidney of a dead person," Diwakar Dalela, head of the urology department
at the King George’s Medical University in Lucknow said. "Well, unless
the kids were first taken to a well-equipped operation theatre for
removal of kidneys and then done to death, the question of organ
transplant could not arise," he said. "In any case, organ transplant
requires so many pre-requisites like blood and kidney matching between
the donor and recipient. Besides no Indian hospital so far has
facilities to preserve a kidney for more than three to four hours."
accused will also undergo lie-detection tests and brain mapping — to
find out their response to pictures of the victims — but those results,
and the outcome of the truth serum tests, cannot be admitted as evidence
in court. The tests will be used mainly to lead investigators to clues.
Ruling Congress Party chief Sonia Gandhi yesterday visited the village
where most of the victims came from and met their families. Gandhi
described the killings as "cruel" and "barbaric" and took swipes at the
Uttar Pradesh state government, where elections are due later this year,
saying "there is no law and order."
Golden boy turns serial child-killer
January 6, 2007
HE is an
alumnus of one of the subcontinent's most prestigious and expensive
schools, Bishop Cotton at Bangalore, which dates back more than 100
years to the days of the British Raj and has as its motto the noble
injunction "Overcome Evil with Good".
Today, however, there is only evil
in perceptions of Moninder Singh Pandher, the millionaire New Delhi
businessman at the centre of what is emerging as oneof the world's most
horrendous cases of sexual depravity and pedophile serial killing.
Indian media has dubbed him the Butcher of Noida - in articles
accompanied by school pictures of a neatly dressed and turbaned Bishop
Cotton student, known to his mates as Goldy. He is accused with his
manservant, Surendra Kohli, of as many as 40 cases of kidnapping young
children, mainly little girls, raping and abusing them - in some
instances after they had died - strangling them and then cutting up
their bodies before disposing of the remains in a drain outside his
house at Noida, on Delhi's outskirts.
Forensic experts said yesterday
the bodies had been sliced precisely and systematically, as detailed in
an autopsy report on the remains of 17 corpses dug out of the drain. The
report said 11 of the victims were young girls. "Post-mortem tests
reveal the bodies were cut with butcher-like precision," said surgeon Vinod Kumar. "Whoever did it, they cut through the bones very
The case has exposed the dark underbelly of life in the
teeming Indian capital, even as the country races towards record
economic growth and projected superpower status. Noida is not out in the
sticks. It is one of Delhi's fastest-growing satellites, a place that is
attracting much of the call-centre and IT investment pouring into the
country, and the proposed site of what it is claimed will be the world's
tallest building. But the reality is that as Pandher and Kohli allegedly
went about the gruesome business of raping and murdering dozens of small
children and at least one woman over one or two years, the pleas of
parents whose children had gone missing were treated with contempt by
The parents say they went to police dozens of times, and the
first missing-person reports were lodged in 2005. But the police did
nothing. For these were children of a lesser god - the children of
dirt-poor people with neither money nor influence, humble and
impoverished migrants from rural areas of India, rickshaw pullers,
street sweepers and labourers. They are the people whose awful lot in
life this week was to stand and watch as investigators dug up the fetid
drain outside Pandher's house of horrors, uncovering cheap rubber
sandals, little polka-dotted blouses, a faded blue shirt, plastic
trinkets, even pieces of cloth from which they could identify their
children as victims of the Butcher of Noida.
The parents believe that
had the police acted on the first complaints, many lives could have been
saved. Reacting to the growing public anger, authorities in Uttar
Pradesh yesterday sacked six of the local police and suspended three
Sunil Biswas, a rickshaw puller from West Bengal, who tried to
file a complaint about his 10-year-old daughter Pushpa, who went missing
from the local school in April last year, said: "Policemen were
reluctant to take the complaint and also misbehaved with me and my wife
and showered abuses on us. "They told us: 'Why do you produce children
if you cannot take care ofthem?"' The impoverished world of Mr Biswas
and his fellow mourners is light years away from Goldy Pandher's life of
money, flash cars, power and influence - a life in which he hunted
tigers and leopards and collected fine spirits, boasting a well-stocked
Pandher, now in his late 50s, grew up in an affluent family and
built a fortune running a trucking company. According to reports
yesterday, he has friends in high places and is well-known to a number
of leading Punjabi politicians in India's dominant Congress party. He is
the sort of person who, in India in 2007, can get away with murder.
Friends spoke yesterday of "a highly intelligent man with a good sense
of humour". Deepak Kumar Thakur, a lawyer who was at school with him,
declared: "I have known Pandher since 1964 when we were in class. I have
no reason to believe he could be involved in such a crime, until the
court proves him guilty." However, the police have no such reservations.
They have charged Pandher and Kohli with offences ranging from
kidnapping to rape and murder.
Only the number of offences is in doubt,
according to police, with the search for human remains continuing.
Parents say at least 38 children have gone missing in the area. Both men
are under interrogation, the police say. Kohli has reportedly admitted
enticing the children into the house, using lollies as bait. All the
children were strangled. Their bodies were dismembered with a saw, and
the remains dumped in the drain. Extraordinarily, the smell of decaying
human flesh in the drain caused no suspicion. But that probably says as
much as anything about what is taken for normal on some of India's
Kohli admits his complicity, according to police, but says he
was only obeying his master's orders. Under interrogation, Pandher gives
little away. But investigators are sure of their case. What remains a
mystery, however, is just what led Pandher to face the allegations now
made against him. According to reports, he has been living separately
from his wife, but is a devoted father to an only son who has been
studying in Canada. Some friends talk of him going off the rails after a
few drinks. Of dark moods. Of a penchant for prostitutes. But most find
the odyssey from bright and shiny pupil at Bishop Cotton to accused
serial killer hard to comprehend.
India is a country where, according to
the National Human Rights Commission, more than 45,000 children go
missing every year, and where the tragic helplessness of the Noida
parents in the face of cruel police inaction is replicated many times
over. Too often, neglect such as that seen in the case of the Butcher of
Noida proves the antithesis of the Bishop Cotton motto, and evil
triumphs over good.
Serial killer's Chandigarh house attracts curious eyes
December 31, 2006
palatial bungalow in an elite part of Chandigarh's Sector 27 has become
the centre of attraction for a shocked neighbourhood after its owner
became an accused in the brutal serial killings of children in Noida.
The bungalow belongs to Moninder (rpt Moninder) Singh Pandher, who has
been arrested in Uttar Pradesh and is said to be the kingpin of the
serial killings along with two servants and then dumping their bodies in
the backyard of his house in Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi.
The Chandigarh police, ever since Moninder's name figured in the killings,
have stationed a police control room vehicle with three-four policemen
to keep surveillance on the property and its residents. The police have
so far not searched the premises because there has been no communication
from their Noida counterparts. But they have questioned the family
members and servants.
Moninder is a millionaire businessman with
interests in transport, agricultural machines and property. He had his
education in Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, and St Stephen's College,
Delhi. The bungalow, a 2,000-square yard property in a posh locality, is
valued at over Rs.100 million at present market prices. Leading
industrialists, businessmen, politicians and other influential people
have their bungalows in the locality where Moninder lives.
said they had not been seeing Moninder often in this bungalow in the
last two to three years though his family admitted that he had last come
here 15 days ago, just for a day. One resident who requested anonymity
said Moninder appeared to be a 'nice and normal man' with a good sense
of humour. He said most residents were shocked he could do something so
The only residents of the sprawling villa are Moninder's wife
Devinder Kaur, 50, their Canada-educated son Karan, 23, and a couple of
servants. Ever since Moninder's name figured in the Noida killings, the
family has locked themselves inside the house. The main gate has been
locked and even the cars inside have their number plates covered with
cloth. Congress MP from Jalandhar, Rana Gurjit Singh, a distant relative
of Devinder Kaur, visited her Saturday. 'I went to enquire about her
after coming to know of her husband's arrest,' Rana Gurjit said.
Noida serial killer confesses to raping, strangling eight
December 30, 2006
horrific turn to numerous incidents of children disappearing in Nithari
village of Sector 31 here, parts of 15 skeletons of girls and boys were
recovered from a drain behind an industrialist's house in the village on
Friday. The caretaker of the house, Subhash alias Surendra, told the
cops he had been sexually abusing and strangling his victims before
disposing of their bodies in the drain.
The house belongs to a Chandigarh-based industrialist, Mohinder Singh Kohli. While Subhash has
been arrested, Kohli too has been taken into custody. A senior Noida
police officer said that Kohli was 'definitely under suspicion'.
villagers had been complaining to the cops for the past two years about
their children going missing regularly, and if the cops had acted in
time, the serial killer could have been nabbed much earlier. Subhash has
so far confessed to killing two boys and six girls, between 4 and 12
years of age, besides a 26-year-old woman. "But, deranged as he seems to
be, he may well have forgotten how many children he actually killed,"
said the officer.
In a scene straight out of a psychopath movie, cops
found several knives, a licensed rifle and many live cartridges in the
house. The police suspect that many more have been killed, particularly
because the villagers said that often there were visitors from outside
at the house. Among those killed could be some whose disappearance was
Noida police chief R K S Rathor said the breakthrough
came when they took in Subhash for questioning after a 26-year-old
woman, Payal, disappeared recently. Subhash was found to be in
possession of Payal's mobile phone. The cops then stumbled on the
bizarre serial murders. The villagers had been suspicious about the men
in the house and often complained to the police. The drain behind
Kohli's house had been giving out a foul stench for months. When the
cops were called in to investigate, they laughed off the suspicion that
there could be human bodies in the drain. One reportedly even found a
bone but left saying it was of some animal.
On Friday, the anger of the
villagers boiled over and they stoned the house, smashing flower pots
and damaging anything in sight. And when a large police contingent tried
to drive them away, the mob turned on the cops. A woman, whose son is
missing, slapped a sub-inspector, saying, Tumhari vajah se hamare
bachche mare hain. Tum to report bhi darj nahin karte unke khone ki. Ab
batao in haddiyon mein kaun sa mera beta hai . (Our children have died
because of you. You didn't even file a report. Now tell me where is my
son in these bones.). She then collapsed, weeping bitterly.
Organ scam suspected in serial killer bust
December 30, 2006
discovery in NOIDA has reinforced a suspicion harboured by some
residents that an organ racket was thriving in their midst. “The
children kidnapped were both boys and girls and we have been saying that
an organ scam could be behind the kidnappings,” said Usha Thakur, a
social activist. She pointed to the way the bodies had been cut up, and
said foul sexual leanings did not seem to have spurred the crimes.
Thakur, who has taken up the issue on behalf of Nithari residents, said
they had always suspected Mohinder Singh of involvement in the
disappearance of so many children. “His house lies at the end of the
village and his servant Satish frequented the village,” she said.
Whatever the motive, the killings have galvanised residents’ ire against
police. Thakur said police inaction was visible since the day
12-year-old Rimpa Haldar, first of the many still missing, disappeared
two years ago.
Noida serial killer sent to 2 days' custody
December 30, 2006
Singh Pandher, a factory owner, and his servant Satish were today
remanded to two days' police custody in connection with the alleged
killing of at least 15 children. They were produced before the duty
magistrate in a local court, who remanded them to police custody to
enable further interrogation of the two suspects. Police had asked for
five days' custody. A case has been registered against the two under
various sections of IPC, including rape, murder, kidnapping and criminal
conspiracy, SSP R. K. S. Rahore told reporters.
Families of missing children lose hope
December 29, 2006
spent the whole of last year hoping that his missing seven-year-old girl
would one day come back home. But on Friday, Pappu says all hopes were
dashed when sacks of skeletons were recovered by Noida police in a
bungalow in Sector 31. "I saw it all. They found bones and 18 skulls,"
says the distressed man. But the police say skeletal remains of only
eight children aged between three and 15 years were recovered.
to the police, the bodies will be sent for DNA testing, but for the
aggrieved families this delayed investigation means nothing. Parents of
the missing children say they had been suspecting Satish for a long
time. "I don't have any faith in the police. We have been telling them
again and again that we suspected this man," says James, whose child has
been missing for some time now. The DNA tests will confirm the
identities of the children, but for parents who have lost their little
ones, there is little hope left.
Serial killer held, skeletons of four kids found in Noida
December 29, 2006
two-year-long mystery over 38 missing children, mostly girls, was
finally resolved on Friday when police recovered skeletal remains of at
least four children from a working class neighbourhood on the edges of
this booming suburban town New Delhi.
Police believe that this chance
discovery could lead to the remains of the remaining children who may
have been sexually abused and brutally murdered by a psychopathic serial
After failing to solve the mysterious disappearance of children
since March 2005, the breakthrough finally came when police arrested Surendra Kohli, alias Satish, who is believed to be mentally ill, while
investigating the murder of a 16-year-old girl, Payal.
recovered four skeletons on the basis of the information given by Satish
but the actual figure of the total skeletons would be known only after
medical investigations. The bodies were found buried in a two-and
a-half-feet deep ditch behind the house of a businessman," said Jagmohan
Yadav, inspector general of police (IGP) Meerut Range.
"We have also
found the mobile phone of Payal which we had managed to track on the
basis of technical surveillance. The girl had gone missing in May but
Satish was using her phone since then," added Yadav. Satish, a resident
of Almora in Uttaranchal, was working as a domestic help in businessman
Sardar Mohinder Singh's house in Nithari, near here. "The man (Satish)
seems to be mentally ill."
"The bodies were kept in bags and buried near
a drain behind the house. We have also recovered some clothes of
children," he said. "We have also found weapons while searching the
house," added the officer. "We have also arrested Mohinder Singh after a
detailed questioning. We have sealed the house and a thorough search is
being carried out. We have also called two excavators to help the police
in the search operations," Yadav said.
Police added that they were also
questioning P. Chaudhary, a medical storeowner. "We suspect that he was
also involved in the crime. He has a past record and he was arrested in
1999 for being involved in an organ transplant racket," said Rajesh
Kumar Singh Rathore, senior superintendent of police.
In the past 21
months of investigation when the first case of abduction was reported to
the police, villagers have alleged that 38 children, mostly minor girls,
have gone missing while playing near the water tank. "We suspected the
skeletons are those of the children who were kidnapped from the village.
We will reach a conclusion only after carrying out the forensic tests,
it is too early to comment," said Rathore None of the 38 children, who
were allegedly kidnapped, has been recovered so far.
Police said most of
the missing children, in the age group of 3-11 years, were girls. A
majority of the inhabitants of Nithari village are migrants from Uttar
Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. They earn their livelihood as domestic
helps, drivers and fruit and vegetable vendors.
The semi-rural village
has a population of around 25,000 people mostly those who have come to Noida in search of work in the capital and the satellite town in its
periphery. Kidnappings do not make news any more in much of the rural
belt of Noida as for the past few months every month around two children
were being abducted while playing outside their homes. "We have been
complaining about this for the past so many months but police only want
money from us," said Sunita, tears rolling down her eyes as she
remembered the last time she saw her daughter who was also kidnapped 15
months while playing outside her house. "We only get abused and beaten
by the cops every time we go to enquire about our missing children," she
said while sitting in her makeshift laundry shop at the corner of the
Another person whose 8-year-old daughter was kidnapped said,
"Our worst fears have come true today. We always suspected that
something had happened to our children," Pappu Lal. His daughter, Rachna
Kumari, 8, went missing April 10 while playing outside her house. "I
have gone to far off places like Jaipur, Mumbai, Bharatpur, Ajmer,
Lucknow, Varanasi and Allahabad in search of our children," Pappu Lal
Serial child killer nabbed in Noida
December 29, 2006
found skeletons of eight children in a village in Noida, near Delhi, on
Friday and claimed the man who raped and murdered them has confessed.
Satish, 30, was a domestic help in a house near which the bodies were
found stuffed in gunny bags and buried in a drain. At least 38 children
have disappeared in Nithari in Noida’s Sector 31 in the last two years.
Satish, who hails from Almora in Uttarakhand, first came under police
suspicion when the cell phone of a missing 20-year-old woman was found
with him, said Senior Superintendent of Police R K S Rathore. Satish has
allegedly confessed to strangling Payal. He appeared mentally ill and
allegedly lured the eight children, all less than 12, with sweets and
then raped and strangled them. His employer, businessman Mohinder Singh,
has also been arrested. Jagmohan Yadav, Inspector General of Police (Meerut
Range), said parents of two girls who disappeared two years ago told
police on Tuesday that they had found their children’s clothes and
slippers near the drain.
A police team kept the house under surveillance
and detained Satish on Thursday night. TV channels showed police
personnel digging the drain with the help of shovels and a bulldozer. An
eyewitness claimed he saw police taking away meat choppers, guns and
cartridges from the house. Hundreds of people, including parents of
missing children, gathered outside the house as news spread. They were
angry with police and accused them of ignoring their complaints that
children were disappearing from Nithari. Some residents alleged that the
police had refused to lodge FIRs.
Officials denied the allegations and
said police teams had been sent to Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai after
reports about the missing children had been registered. Noida hit the
headlines in November when the four-year-old son of Adobe India’s CEO
was kidnapped from near his home in Sector 15 and was released for a
ransom of Rs 50 lakh.