Nithari killings: Koli awarded death sentence

Surendra Koli was on Tuesday sentenced to death for the murder of eight-year-old girl Rachna.

Last Updated: Sep 28, 2010, 14:57 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Ghaziabad: Surendra Koli, a prime accused in the 2005-06 Nithari serial killings in Uttar Pradesh, was on Tuesday sentenced to death for the murder of an eight-year-old girl, Rachna.

Koli was convicted on Monday by a special CBI court here for the minor girl`s murder.

Koli’s conviction for murdering eight-year-old Rachna is his third.

The court had earlier sentenced Koli, an employee of businessman Maninder Singh Pandher, to death in Rimpa Haldhar and Arti murder cases.

A total of 47 witnesses testified in this case linked to the serial killings that took place in Nithari village within the state`s Noida town, a suburb of Delhi.

Koli`s employer Pandher was also awarded death sentence in the Rimpa Haldhar murder case but he was acquitted by the Allahabad High Court.

The death sentence awarded to Koli was maintained by the High Court in Rimpa Haldhar and Arti murder cases.

In the present case against Koli, Rachna, daughter of Pappu Lal, went out of her house to buy grocery from a local shop but did not come back April 10, 2006.

After this, her father lodged a complaint with police. The matter was subsequently transferred to the CBI.

The investigating agency made Koli the sole accused in Rachna`s killing. Pandher was left out of the charge sheet after the CBI was convinced that he was not involved in the crime, said Khalid Khan, a lawyer representing families of Nithari victims.

Millions across the country and abroad were horrified when Noida police on December 29, 2006, began uncovering the remains of children and young women from a drain next to Pandher`s (D-5) bungalow in Noida`s Sector 31. Koli and Pandher were arrested thereafter.

Of the 19 cases of abduction, rape and murder of four women and 15 children, mostly girls, the CBI has filed charge sheets in 16 cases. All the cases are being heard separately. While Koli has been charged with rape, abduction and murder in all the cases, Pandher is co-accused in six cases.

(With IANS inputs)