Nithari killings: Pandher ‘confession’ submitted in court

By Rana Ajit, IANS

Ghaziabad : After junking Noida businessman Moninder Singh Pandher's "confession" to the police on the gruesome killing of over 20 children in his house, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has now submitted this to a court here – but has refrained from indicting him in the crime.

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The CBI has been facing flak for allegedly shielding Pandher and blaming the killings on his domestic aide Surendra Koli, who is the sole accused in all six chargesheets the agency has filed in the case.

Pandher's confession is among the documents filed with the sixth chargesheet last week in the court of Special Judge Rama Jain on the abduction, rape and killing of eight-year-old Rachna, daughter of Nithari resident Pappu Lal.

Even though the CBI has not indicted Pandher in the new chargesheet, the incorporation of his confessional statement to the Noida police assumes significance as the court may take notice of his possible role in Rachna's killing, said advocate Khalid Khan, who represents the parents of the Nithari victim's children.

Koli, in fact, has filed an application in the court demanding that Pandher's confessional statements be incorporated in the chargesheet related to another victim, Payal.

Significantly, in his confessional statement, Pandher had told the police that he asked Koli to eliminate Payal as she had been blackmailing him despite charging him Rs 2,500 for every night she spent with him.

Meanwhile, the CBI Monday produced Ashvini Kumar Singh, a State Bank of India (SBI) before Jain as its first prosecution witness in the case related to killings of two victims, Payal and Pinki Sarkar.

Even as Singh, who works in the SBI branch located in the Central Government Complex in Lodhi Raod near the CBI headquarters, deposed in the case related to Pinki's killing, his deposition in the other case ran aground as lawyer Khan objected to this.

Khan contended that while CBI was eager to get its witnesses, who figure way down in the list, examined at the earliest, in Payal's case, it has not even got the girl's father Nand Lal to depose.

Khan told the court that it should immediately examine Nand Lal as he was under duress from various quarters to retract his statement.

The court then issued notice to the CBI on this.

Deposing in the case relating to Pinki's killing, Singh told the court that CBI sleuths had recovered, in his presence, slippers and clothes from a drain behind Pandher's house at Koli's behest.