On July 24, the special CBI court awarded death sentence to businessman Moninder Singh Pandher and his domestic help Surrender Koli in connection with the 2006 Nithari rape and murder case.

Special Judge Pawan Kumar Tripathi convicted and sentenced them to death after finding them guilty of rape, murder, abduction and criminal conspiracy over the killing of a 20-year-old woman identified as Pinki Sarkar. The Central Bureau of Investigation had registered the case against them in the year 2006.

The incident reportedly took place on October 5, 2006, when the woman who took the road near the Pandher’s residence while coming back home from work. The accused killed her inside the house and beheaded her. The police recovered the woman’s skull behind the house. The skull of the dead match with the woman’s parents. Additionally, her clothes were in possession with Koli that was later identified by her parents.

Pandher’s lawyer has asserted that they would file an appeal against the CBI court’s verdict. Pandher’s lawyer reportedly said that the chargesheet filed by the CBI proved that Pandher was not in Noida on October 5, 2006, but had left for Dehradun and had only returned on October 10. He further argued that his client had nothing to do with the Pinky Sarkar murder case.  He also pleaded minimum punishment for his client saying that Pandher was suffering from high blood pressure problem.

The police also went on to recover the skulls and bones of 16 people, mainly of young girls near Pandher’s house in Nithari village of Noida. It was alleged that Koli would lure the young girls by offering them sweets and then murder them before having sex with the corpses. A number of children had also gone missing in the neighbouring area. The parents of the missing children claimed that the police refused to take the matter seriously and did not act on their complaints.

Source: IANS

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