Court quashes suicide abetment charges against Nithari families

March 17th, 2009 - 11:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Noida/Allahabad, March 17 (IANS) The Allahabad High Court Tuesday quashed a Noida police complaint that families of some of the victims of the Nithari killings had abetted and attempted suicide during a protest demonstration.
The jolt to the Noida police comes a month after Maninder Singh Pandher and Surendra Koli were awarded death sentences by a Central Bureau of Investigation court.

Pandher and Koli are accused of killing 19 children and young women in Nithari village near Noida, in what came to be known collectively as the Nithari killings. The horrific crime that stunned the country came to light in December 2006 when remains of the 19 - all of them from Nithari village - were found in a drain behind Pandher’s bungalow.

The Allahabad High Court lambasted the Noida police for an “erroneous kind of charge sheet” filed in the suicide attempt case against the families of the victims.

Notices were sent to the principal secretary (home) and investigating officer Santram Yadav, asking them to prove the sections stated by them in their charge sheet, accusing the victims’ families of abetting suicide.

“Instead of registering the victims’ complaints and helping them out, you are making them an accused in the case. They have already suffered so much and you are adding to their grievances by making them accused,” Justice R.D. Khare said.

Expressing satisfaction over the court order, the victim families said it was yet again a victory for the poor people whom the police tried to frame under false charges.

“The Noida police did so to cover up their own misdeeds. We were sitting at a silent protest, demanding compensation for some of the victims who lost their children,” said Satish Chandra Mishra, a social activist and Nithari resident.

Mishra was named by the police along with Jhabbu Lal (father of one the Nithari victims) for abetting suicide.

The Noida police registered an FIR under section 306 IPC (abetment of suicide) against Mishra and Lal Oct 3, 2007. The police had also registered cases under section 309 IPC (attempt to commit suicide) against Durga Lal, Pappu Lal and Ram Krishna, who also lost their kins in the horrifying crime.

“The police had first framed a false case of abetting suicide against us. They then tried to arrest us in a very clever manner. Some of the senior police officials were very polite to me and tried to flatter me saying that they would withdraw the case against you”,” he said.

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