Shocking Acquittal: Nithari Killings Main Accused Surinder Koli Freed After 17-Year Legal Battle
Surendra Koli and co-accused Moninder Singh Pandher in the infamous Nithari serial killings case in Noida.Image Courtesy: PTI
New Delhi: In a stunning turn of events, the main accused in the horrifying Nithari killings, Surinder Koli, has been acquitted of all charges, marking the end of a 17-year-long legal battle that shook the nation. Koli was cleared of accusations in 12 cases, and his employer, Moninder Singh Pandher, was also acquitted in two cases. The death sentences previously imposed on both men have been cancelled.
The Recent Acquittals
The Allahabad High Court presided over by Justices Ashwani Kumar Mishra and Syed Aftab Husain Rizvi, acquitted Surinder Koli in 12 cases and Moninder Singh Pandher in two cases, leading to the annulment of their death sentences. The acquittals were based on a lack of evidence.
Surinder Koli is currently incarcerated at Dasna Jail in Ghaziabad, while Moninder Singh Pandher is held in Noida Jail.
Defence counsel Manisha Bhandari explained that the high court had combined the appeals of Moninder Singh and Koli, with the judgment being reserved last month. On Monday, the court delivered the acquittals in two and 12 cases, respectively.
This development marks the end of a long and tragic chapter in the Nithari killings case, one that had gripped the nation's attention for nearly two decades.
The Nithari killings, a series of gruesome crimes involving rape and murder, unfolded at Moninder Pandher's residence in the Nithari area of Noida, Uttar Pradesh, between 2005 and 2006. Surinder Koli, employed as a help at Pandher's home, was a key figure in these horrific acts. The house gained notoriety as the "house of horrors" following the shocking revelations.
Koli would lure children into the residence, where he and Pandher allegedly raped and murdered them. The police revealed that the perpetrators dismembered the victims' bodies and disposed of the remains in drains to eliminate evidence.
The investigation was initiated when body parts of a missing child were found in a drain near Pandher's house, ultimately leading to the identification of more victims. The case captivated the nation with allegations of murder, mutilation, and even cannibalism.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took over the case after a series of gruesome murders came to light. In 2007, the CBI filed 19 cases against Pandher and Koli.
Surinder Koli was found guilty of the rape and murder of numerous children at his employer's residence. He had previously confessed to having sexual intercourse with the deceased victims and even consuming parts of their bodies.
The duo was also convicted for the rape and murder of a 20-year-old woman, adding to the gravity of their crimes.
Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.