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Nithari killings: CBI spares Pandher, slanders Koli
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March 22, 2007 13:52 IST
Last Updated: March 22, 2007 21:35 IST

Filing its first chargesheet in the serial killings of women and children in Nithari, the Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday slapped lesser charges on Moninder Singh Pandher while his domestic servant, 'psychopath' Surinder Koli, has been accused of committing all the murders besides rape and kidnap.

Sixty year-old Pandher faces only charges under offences like procuring call girls, indulging in prostitution, bribing police officials and destruction of evidence of offences committed by Koli in the chargesheet filed by the CBI in a Ghaziabad court on Thursday.

The CBI, which took over investigations from UP police in January, said Koli was a necrophiliac (one who was interested in having sex with dead bodies) and suffered from necrophagia, a disorder in which a person eats human flesh.

In an unusual press conference where the agency faced a flurry of questions about why it was giving a 'clean chit' to Pandher and how was it that he was not aware of all the grisly killings in his house in Noida on the outskirts of Delhi, Joint Director Arun Kumar admitted it would be surprising but the fact was that the businessman was not in his house when Koli committed 16 murders nor was he aware of his murders.

The CBI finding sent shockwaves among the people of Nithari who are contemplating petitioning President A P J Abdul Kalam on the ground that the agency was 'protecting' Pandher.

There have been two instances where Koli has had flesh cooked in a pressure-cooker and also ate a raw liver of a child, Kumar said.

Thursday's chargesheet was only in connection with the disappearance and murder of a call girl Payal, who had gone missing in May last year. Giving some details of the investigations, Kumar said these pointed to the murder having been committed by Koli.

Asked whether Pandher had not been charged with murder, Kumar said, "So far, investigations into majority of cases had revealed that he (Pandher) had not committed murder but his role in two other cases was still being probed."

Giving details of their investigations supported by the findings of forensic and other experts and lie detector tests conducted on the two accused, Kumar said Koli had confessed to have killed at least 16 people.

"This case is blind and we have to depend on his confessional statement given before the magistrate," he said.

Kumar said though it sounded surprising but Pandher was not present at site where the murders took place.

"On two occasions, he was in and around Australia. During the time of nine other killings, he was out of Delhi and five other times, he was nowhere near Nithari," the CBI official said, adding that all this was found through the mobile towers used by him to make calls on the ill-fated days.

Pandher was dependent on alcohol and regularly solicited women for sexual pleasure, but was not a psychopath, the investigating agency said, adding that Koli was provided with a body at the AIIMS hospital generally used for experimental purposes.

"He gave a live demonstration about how he used to cut the cadaver, dismembered the bodies and dispose them of. We have videographed it. This is good evidence," he said.

Kumar claimed Pandher had no inkling about the murders and had even employed a private detective agent to track down Payal, a call girl with whom he had an intimate relationship and was allegedly killed by Koli.

He said Koli broke down during interrogation after they showed him the mobile phone of Payal, which he had used for some time after murdering her.

About Thursday's chargesheet, the CBI said Koli had been charged for abduction of Payal through deceitful means, raping and murdering her, misappropriation of the mobile phone, purse and the money in the purse of deceased after murdering her, disposal of her body and destruction of evidence.

Pandher, owner of the house, has been charged with procuring call girls and indulging in prostitution along with his friends in his house using it as a brothel and thereby commission of offences under section three and five of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act.

Pandher has also been charged for pressurising Neelam (witness) and Nand Lal (father of Payal) not to give statements against him, bribing the police officers to screen himself and his servant from criminal proceedings, conspiring with dismissed Uttar Pradesh Sub-Inspector Simarjeet Kaur in framing false records, for destruction of evidence of offences by his servant, having reason to believe that an offence has taken place and for giving false information in this regard.

Simarjeet Kaur, the first investigating officer of the case, has been charged for conspiring with Pandher, accepting bribe, gifts from him and preparing false records for screening Pandher and Koli and destruction of evidence.      

During the course of investigation, skulls, bones and biological materials, clothes and other belongings of victims were recovered from the premises of D-5, Sector 31, Noida. On taking up of investigation, CBI scanned and searched the premises with the assistance of forensic experts from various parts of the country and recovered bones and biological materials from the premises including the drain in front of the house. The materials were forwarded to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences for post mortem examination, individualization and then forwarding the same to Centre for DNA Fingerprinting Diagnostic.

Blood samples of relatives of 18 victims were obtained and sent to CDFD for DNA profiling and matching with the DNA profiling of the skulls and bones. The CDFD, Hyderabad after such DNA profiling test has conclusively fixed the identity of eight victims, he said, adding in respect of the remaining victims and skulls and body parts, further scientific tests were continuing.

Both the accused -- Pandher and Koli -- were subjected to polygraph test, psychological assessment test, brain mapping and narco-analysis test. They were also subjected to forensic psychiatric assessment tests by a Board of Psychiatrists and Psychologists and Forensic Medicine Experts and the Board opined that accused Koli is suffering from Necrophilia and Necrophagia.

"He does not suffer from psychotic disorder or any other psychiatric illness except for necrophilia, a type of paraphilia, a sexual perversion disorder. He was fully conscious at the time of the alleged commission of crime and also aware of the consequences of the act. The board also opined that there is nothing to suggest from the assessment that he is not fit to stand the trial," Kumar said.

Regarding accused Pandher, the board opined that he does not suffer from any psychotic disorder or any other psychiatric illness. Koli made a voluntary confession before metropolitan magistrate, New Delhi, admitting to having called, strangulated, raped and murdered Payal and disposed of her dead body in pieces.

He also admitted having allured 15 more women and children during the period February 2005 and November 2006, strangulated them, attempted to rape and raped them and killed them and disposed of their dead bodies.

Biological materials recovered from the premises included intestines, liver, kidneys, abdomen parts and other various body parts and according to investigation and expert opinion no evidence of organ trade is found to be involved. Role of other police officers is being investigated into, he said.

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