CBI files fifth Nithari charge-sheet, absolves Pandher
May 19, 2007 - 7:25:06 PM

Ghaziabad, May 19 - The Central Bureau of Investigation - Saturday filed the charge-sheet in the Nithari serial killings, and once again gave a clean chit to businessman Moninder Singh Pandher while his domestic aide Surinder Koli was charged with the rape and murder of a minor girl at Pandher's Noida house.

'Koli was charge-sheeted for offences of criminal conspiracy to rape and murder 14-year-old girl Rimpa Haldar in February 2005,' a CBI official said.

'Pandher was not present when Koli killed her. Even in the first four killings he - was not present in his Noida house,' the official said.

Pandher and Koli are co-accused in the cases of sexual abuse and killings of at least 20 children and young women in Nithari village adjoining Noida in Uttar Pradesh.

According to CBI joint director Arun Kumar, there is no strong evidence against Pandher.

Pandher has been charge-sheeted only for indulging in immoral trafficking and bribing Simranjeet Kaur, a sub-inspector of the Noida police who has been suspended.

The fourth charge sheet was filed May 5, charging Koli for the rape and murder of Nanda Devi, a former domestic help at Pandher's house.

The third charge- sheet, filed April 24, also absolved Pandher of more serious crimes while it charged Koli with criminal conspiracy to kidnap, rape and murder five-year-old Payal.

The second charge sheet of April 10 said Koli had abducted, raped and murdered a 20-year-old woman, Pinki Sarkar.

The investigating agency had filed the first charge sheet March 22 in which Koli was listed as the main accused for the murder of Payal, 26.

It was Payal's murder that had actually led to the unravelling of the sex-related butcheries in Nithari village. Skeletal remains of the victims were found from a drain behind Pandher's bungalow Dec 29.

In the next few days, more than 20 skulls and several bones were discovered from the drain. The CBI, which took over investigations from the Noida police Jan 10, has registered 19 cases so far.

Angered by the agency's clean chit to the businessman, relatives of some of the victims had Wednesday met the new Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Mayawati, in Lucknow, and demanded that the probe be handed over to the state police.

However, Mayawati expressed her inability saying that she could not do anything in the matter since the CBI was already entrusted with the case.

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