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Pandher, Koli held guilty in Nithari murder case

February 12, 2009 16:27 IST
Last Updated: February 12, 2009 17:27 IST

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Two years after the grisly killing of children and women in Nithari came to light, a special court on Thursday convicted businessman Moninder Singh Pandher and his servant Surendra Koli of rape and murder in the first of the 19 cases filed against them.

The quantum of sentence in the case of 14-year-old Rimpa Haldar would be pronounced by special court judge Rama Jain on Friday.

While Koli was found guilty by the court under various sections of Indian Penal Code for murder and rape, Pandher was convicted on the same charges along with Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy).

The judgement has come as a major embarrassment for the Central Bureau of Investigation which had probed the case and had given a clean chit to Pandher.

Of the 19 cases, the CBI has filed chargesheets in 16 cases against Koli.

Earlier in the morning, when Pandher was produced in the court, Jain asked him whether he was aware of the statement made by Koli in the Metropolitan Magistrate's court in Delhi [Images], to which he replied in negative.

The judge also asked him whether he knew Payal, a 20-year-old girl and one of the victims, to which he said that he had knowledge about her, Public Prosecutor J P Sharma said. Rimpa, a maid working at Moninder's Sector 31 residence in Noida, had gone missing four years ago and Koli had confessed before CBI to having sexually assaulted and killing her.

According to prosecution, Koli was suffering from necrophilia and had even eaten body parts of his victims. The CBI in its statement said that Koli had committed the crime on February 8, 2005 and that Pandher was not part of it as he was in Australia [Images] at that time.

The Nithari killings which shocked the country came to light with the discovery of skeletol remains of children from the drain behind Pandher's bungalow in Nithari in late December 2006 leading to the arrest of the two. A public outcry forced the UP governmnet to seek a CBI probe. Ghaziabad court premises were turned into a fortress today with large number of security personnel standing guard.

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