Death sentence of a serial killer
An appeal court in India has overturned the death sentence of a
serial killer who was convicted for murdering a girl in a case dubbed "the house of horrors" on Friday, 11
September 2009. The duo were charged with murder, rape and abduction - the case involved 19 deaths and most of the dead were children. Mr Pandher
and Mr Koli remain in custody as proceedings in these cases continue. In February 2009, a trial court found them guilty of Rimpa Haldar's
murder and sentenced them to death. The killings in Noida, a Delhi suburb, shocked the country and many accused the police of negligence.
The serial killing of children at Nithari
The serial killing of children at Nithari village in Noda, U.P. shocked the nation. The serial killings of
children in Noida revealed a "butcher-like precision" in the chopping of 17 bodies, of which 11 have been identified
as that of girls, top doctors of the government hosptial here said. This heinous and gory crimes, reflects the serious fault-lines in
all aspects of our society, from our police to administration to politics to media, and of course the individual. These fault-lines
spread from the apathy of not just the police and the administration but also the media towards the poor and the deprived sections of the
society. Moninder Singh Pandher and his servant Surender, the two suspects of this ghastly serial crime, were finally caught when Nand
Lal persisted with the matter in a court after the Noida police refused to register his daughter's disappearance.
The entire horrifying episode reeks of police apathy towards the poor. They have refused to entertain complaints
of missing children and women. Not only that, they have demanded money up to Rs.10, 000 to register a complaint. One father even
admitted that he had paid the amount. And yet they had ignored the complaints.
The National Human Rights Organisation's reports states that as many as 45,000 children go
missing in India every year. This is shocking even for a country that almost takes pride in being fatalistic. If anything, the report
has brought to the fore the unpalatable truth that we simply don't
care much about our own children. This makes a monkey of India being
a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The Indian Government has for years now, paid lip services to
the need to protect its children. Yet violations of children's
rights are horrifying widespread. According to Human Rights Watch,
India is home of largest child workforce in the world, many of
whom are bonded labourers. Literacy and school enrolment,
especially of girl child, is low. Worse, trafficking of children,
for industrial labour and for sexual exploitation, is a serious
problem to which authorities largely turn a blind eye. The thread
running through all these tragic real-life tales is that a vast
majority of the victims come from disadvantaged backgrounds, and
thus receive little attention or help. The difference in approach by
Noida police to the abduction of Adobe CEO Naresh Gupta's son and to
the disappearance of 38 children from Nithari village in the same
area shows a nation's instinctive response to the socio-economic
background of the complaint. The child-trafficking is our most
prevalent in states like Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Bihar; which are
low on the social and economic index, is again no coincidence at all.
With poverty, social exclusion and discrimination playing such a huge role in the country's failure to protect its children,
obviously a solution to the problem need to be multilayerd. But the immediate - in excusable - failure has been that of the police.
This, yet again, points to the urgent need for reforms that will make those responsible for the protection of our citizens -
regardless of their socio-economic status in society - more accountable to the people.
While the entire sordid episode is yet to unravel fully, what have
however been unmasked in all their ugly glory are the failings of
the individual as well as the society and how deep these fault lines lie.
SC upholds death sentence for Koli
Observing that Surinder Koli "appears to be a serial killer", the
Supreme Court confirmed the death penalty awarded to him for the murder
of 15-year-old Rimpa Haldar after hearing arguments in the case for about two hours on March 8, 2011.
A Bench of Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra, in a five-page
order, highlighted the "gruesome and horrifying" facts of the Haldar
murder in the neighbourhood of Sector 31 at Nithari village in Noida,
Uttar Pradesh. "The killings by the appellant, Surendra Koli, are horrifying and barbaric. He used a definite
methodology in committing these murders," the order said.
The order described Koli as the domestic help of businessman Moninder
Singh Pandher at D-5, Noida Sector 31, where "several children had gone
missing over two years, from 2005". Repeatedly referring to the "horrifying? aspect of the killings, the court said that the D-5 house
had became ?a virtual slaughterhouse, where innocent children were regularly butchered".
"Two girls, namely Pratibha and Purnima, have stated before the trial
court that Koli had tried to lure them into the D-5 house, but they refused to enter. It was sheer good luck on their part, because if they
had entered, they would have met with the same fate too,? the Supreme
Court observed. The observation was made on an appeal filed by Koli against the death
sentence awarded to him in September 2009 by the Allahabad High Court in
the Haldar case alone. The High Court had acquitted Pandher in the case. As many as 16 cases
were registered against Koli in connection with the Nithari killings.