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Home > News > Report

Nithari killings: The unanswered questions

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | March 30, 2007 15:17 IST

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Days after the Central Bureau of Investigation filed a chargesheet in the Ghaziabad court against Nithari killings accused Surinder Koli, Moninder Singh Pandher and suspended sub-inspector Simranjit Kaur several questions remain unanswered.

Most pressing are the ones about the manner in which the agency conducted the probe and the virtual clean chit to Pandher even while placing the onus of kidnapping, raping and killing children on his servant, Koli.

"What can the investigating agency do in this matter?" asks Joginder Singh, former CBI director. "No one was willing to come forward and testify. They found just one witness. Public perception is one thing, and proving it in the court of law is just another," he told while discussing the case.

However, few are willing to buy this argument. The critics ask: What about Pandher? How is it possible that the owner of the house was unaware of what was happening or what his servant was doing without his express consent?

That Pandher wields a lot of political clout is rather evident from the fact that though he had been arrested earlier and kept under surveillance, his movements within Noida-Nithari were not restricted.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions about Pandher's dealings with SI Kaur, especially since large sums of money were recovered from her bank account. Was he paying her off to try and hush up the case? Were Kaur's seniors aware of the matter at all? The sub-inspector has since been booked under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

What remains unclear are the details behind the disappearance and murder of Payal, who had gone missing in May last year. Her father had named Pandher and Koli as a suspects in her disappearance and it was the discovery of her cellphone that led to the uncovering of the gruesome Nithari killings.

Another interesting point in the whole episode is the role of maidservant Maya who did odd jobs around the house. Why is it that she never reported anything to the police? How is it that she was totally oblivious of what is going on?

What was Pandher's actual role in these gruesome murders? What happened to his initial confessions about his alleged involvement in the kidnapping and killings of the children?

There is also tremendous speculation over his political connections, especially in Punjab. Who did Pandher call from his cellphone when he was in trouble, what about the call records?

The CBI, even if it has the above details, has decided not share them with the media. Pandher's son had claimed that his father rarely went to the house in Nithari village. Is it true or just another attempt to hide the truth from the public? Till the CBI speaks, we will never know.