The Nithari case is one of the most spine-chilling cases in the history of India. The Allahabad High Court on October 16 acquitted primary accused Surendra Koli and co-accused Moninder Singh Pandher in the infamous 2005-2006 Noida serial murders case.
The primary accused, Koli, was awarded the death penalty by the trial court, while the co-accused, Pandher, was awarded a death sentence in two cases by the trial court.
Allahabad HC Acquits Accused In Nithari Case
A two-judge bench comprising Justice Ashwani Kumar Mishra and Justice Syed Aftab Husain Rizvi found Koli innocent in the 12 cases for which he had previously been awarded the death penalty and his co-accused Pandher guilty in two cases in which he was given a death sentence.
The bench noted that the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, the Allahabad High Court allowed the pleas filed by the accused, acquitted them of the cases, and cancelled the death sentence.
Nithari Killings: History Of The Incident
The Nithari Killings are one of the most notorious crimes in Noida that shook the nation. The prime accused, Koli, was found guilty of raping and murdering several young girls between 2005 and 2006.
The incident came to light in 2006 when skeletons were found in a drain near a house in Noida’s Nithari village. It was found that the house belonged to Pandher, and Koli was his domestic help. An investigation was opened, following which Koli and his employer, Pandher, were apprehended by the police over the disappearance of one of the girls.
After Koli finally confessed to the crimes, police started digging up the nearby areas and found the children’s bodies. Koli confessed to raping and murdering several children. He also admitted to having sex with dead children and eating their body parts. The duo was also convicted of raping and murdering a 20-year-old woman.
The case was then transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation, which registered 19 cases in 2007 and named Surinder Koli as the murderer in all of them. He was accused of abduction, rape, murder, mutilation, cannibalism, and destruction of evidence. Pandher was also accused in one of the cases of immoral trafficking.
According to the CBI report, Koli had murdered several girls by beheading them, chopping their bodies, and throwing them in the backyard of their house.
The “House of Horrors” was sealed and continues to stand for 435 square metres at D-5, Sector 31 in Noida. However, the house has been ransacked, and almost most of the things have gone missing.
Numerous families who were affected by the Nithari crimes shifted to other places over the years as they couldn’t bear to live in the locality where the brutalities took place. Most of the families allegedly came from West Bengal and Bihar in search of a livelihood.
Suggested Reading: Nithari Serial Killings: The Case History And Court Sentences