A CBI court on Friday, Dec 8, sentenced an Indian businessman and his domestic aide to death for the brutal rape and murder of a 25-year-old housemaid in their home in Noida city on the outskirts of the national capital in 2006.
In December 2006, domestic aide Surinder Koli and his employer Moninder Singh Pandher were arrested in Noida for the rape and murder of at least 19 children and one woman. It has now come to be known as the Nithari killings.
The Nithahri serial killings came to the light after discovery of human remains from a drain behind Pandhers house. During investigations, several skulls and bones – said to be of the victims of Pandher and Koli’s crimes – were found from the backyard of Pandher’s sprawling home in the Nithari locality of Noida’s Sector 31.
It was soon discovered that the aide would lure children with sweets then once they were in the house, he would rape them, kill them then put them in a bag and throw them from the house into a drain behind the house.
Investigations into the killings have been going on since. The case of the killing of Anjali, the housemaid, was the ninth of a total of 16 cases in the macabre serial killings that took place in Nithari in 2005 and 2006. The court of India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) pronounced the quantum of punishment, a day after holding businessman Maninder Pandher and his aide Surinder Koli guilty in the crime they had committed in their house in Nithari village in Noida.
Anjali, who used to work as a housemaid in Noida, was reported missing in October 2006. Her killing came to light after Koli’s arrest in December that year when police discovered skulls and bones of 16 persons, mostly children, near Pandher’s house. DNA samples from one of the skulls matched with that of Anjali’s mother and brother. The CBI took over the case from the local police subsequently and charge-sheets have been filed in 10 out of 16 cases.
Moninder Singh Pandher (middle)
CBI Special Judge Pawan Kumar Tiwari on Thursday convicted the two for murder, kidnapping to murder, rape and destruction of evidence and sentenced them on Friday. During the interrogation, Koli had accepted rape, murder and cannibalism, according to the CBI
The court said that Pandher and Koli “had exhibited a trait which is not even found in animals and so had no right to live”.
The other cases are still under trial.
Surinder Koli (aide)