First verdict in Nithari killings likely on Thursday

February 11th, 2009 - 1:52 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 11 (IANS) A special court is likely to pronounce its first verdict in the grisly Nithari killings Thursday, more than two years after body parts of 19 children and young women who had been sexually abused and mutilated were found from a drain in the suburb of Noida. A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Ghaziabad last month completed proceedings in the murder of 14-year-old Rimpa Haldar, who lived in Nithari village near the bungalow belonging to businessman Moninder Singh Pandher along with the other 18 victims. The court is now ready to deliver its verdict.

According to the May 2007 chargesheet by the CBI, which took over the case from Noida police two years ago, Halder was allegedly raped and murdered about four years ago by Pandher’s domestic help Surender Koli at bungalow number D-5 (in sector 31) Noida.

Halder was allegedly strangulated and then cut to pieces by Koli with two kitchen knives and an axe.

The chargesheet states that Koli was suffering from necrophilia (urge to have sex with a corpse) and necrophagia (urge to eat the flesh of a body).

Pandher and help Koli have been in jail since December 2006, when the horrific crime that stunned the nation with the grisly details came to light.

And the families of the victims are desperately hoping that the duo will be brought to justice. Till then, however, they have to deal with what they say is rank injustice being meted out to them.

“Our case was that Surender Koli had lured Rimpa Halder inside the bungalow on Feb 8, 2005, and then raped and killed her. According to the CBI findings and Koli’s voluntary statement before a Delhi metropolitan court in Jan 2007, he did the crimes and Pandher, who was in Australia then, was not a party to them,” CBI counsel J.P. Sharma submitted in the court.

Last August, the court had suo motu summoned Pandher and asked him to depose in the case, during which the latter had claimed he was in Australia when Halder went missing.

Defence counsel Khalid Khan, however, charged the CBI of fabricating documents and shielding Pandher.

According to the 16 chargesheets submitted in court by the CBI, including in the Halder case, Koli was single-handedly responsible for 16 of the 19 murders (between February 2005 and November 2006) registered by the police.

Pandher was away when the 16 cases of rapes and murders by Koli occurred, the chargesheet states.

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