Nithari witnesses’ lawyer alleges police shielding their officer

July 20th, 2008 - 8:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Ghaziabad, July 20 (IANS) A lawyer for two witnesses in the Nithari serial killings has alleged that a First Information Report (FIR) was filed against a police official and six others for threatening them against testifying in court, but the complaint was cancelled the next day. Khalid Khan, the lawyer, alleged Sunday that the Ghaziabad police registered the FIR against Deputy Superintendent of Police Dinesh Yadav, who was handling the Nithari killing case when posted as Circle Officer at Noida, and six others Friday but cancelled it Saturday night.

He said the Kavi Nagar police of Ghaziabad expunged the FIR, claiming that one of the complainants submitted an affidavit before the investigation officer seeking to withdraw his complaint while another complainant was found to be “fake”.

Khan alleged the police obtained the affidavit under “duress”. “The police have no right to expunge the case since it was registered on the directions of the court.”

According to Khan, the two witnesses filed a complaint Nov 28, 2007, with the Kavi Nagar police that seven people, including then Circle Officer (CO) Dinesh Yadav of Noida police, had threatened them with dire consequences if they did not withdraw from the witness box.

The witnesses in their complaint alleged they were severely beaten up when they were coming to attend a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court hearing on the case. But the police refused to take any action, claimed Khan.

When Khan mentioned this to CBI Judge Rama Jain, she demanded that the police present a progress report on the complaint.

“After receiving the judge’s note, the police Friday registered an FIR - seven months after the police complaint was filed - and expunged it Saturday night,” said Khan.

“The fate of the FIR has to be decided by the court. But going beyond their authority, the police expunged the FIR,” he claimed.

Khan alleged that the Ghaziabad police by cancelling the case were “favouring then Noida police CO Dinesh Yadav”.

“We will take up the matter before the court Monday,” he said.

Clarifying the police action, Circle Officer II C.P. Singh said: “Since one of the complainants was found to be fake and the other one submitted an affidavit asking the complaint to be withdrawn, the police had no option but to wrap up the case.”

The Nithari serial killings were the most chilling murders in recent times. The remains of 18 children and a woman were found in December 2006 from a drain adjoining businessman Moninder Singh Pandher’s house in Nithari village of Noida. The police arrested Pandher and his servant Surender Koli on charges of rape and murder of the victims.

The CBI took up the investigation Jan 10, 2007, from the Uttar Pradesh Police.

Of the 18 cases of murder and kidnapping, the CBI has so far let off Pandher in 12, while Koli has been charged for the crimes.

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