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Nithari case timeline: discovery of skulls to judgement

From the day remains of women, kids were discovered to judgement day.

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Updated:February 12, 2009, 4:34 PM IST
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Nithari case timeline: discovery of skulls to judgement
From the day remains of women, kids were discovered to judgement day.

Following is the timeline of events from the day remains of 19 young women and children were discovered in Nithari village of Noida more than two years ago to Thursday's court ruling in one of the cases:

  • Dec 29, 2006: Fifteen human skulls, skeletal remains and fragments of clothes stuffed in gunny bags were found in a drain behind bungalow number D-5 in Noida's Sector 31, adjacent to Nithari village. The police in Noida, adjacent to New Delhi, arrested Pandher and his domestic help Surender Koli on charges of rape and murder.
  • Dec 30: More skeletons found. Police probed the possibility of human organ trafficking. Five policemen were suspended for mishandling the investigation after parents had complained almost two years ago that their children had gone missing.
  • Dec 31: Then Uttar Pradesh police chief Bua Singh admitted laxity and negligence in handling the case and ordered a high-level probe. Hundreds of villagers vandalised the bungalow at D-5 and demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
  • Jan 1, 2007: Policemen and villagers clashed over the gory killings. Police questioned Pandher's family in Chandigarh.
  • Jan 2: Uttar Pradesh authorities distributed Rs.200,000 to each of the eight families of the 12 identified victims, along with a blanket and a 10 kg sack of flour. The remains of the victims were sent to the forensic labs in Agra and Hyderabad.
  • Jan 3: The central government appointed a four-member panel to probe the killings. Then chief justice Y.K. Sabharwal rejected the demand for a CBI probe saying the case was being probed by several other agencies, including the Uttar Pradesh police.
  • The Uttar Pradesh government increased the compensation amount from Rs.200,000 to Rs.500,000. A senior superintendent of police and superintendent of police were suspended.
  • Jan 4: The state government rejected the demand for a CBI probe, while then chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav's brother Shivpal Singh Yadav said "such incidents keep happening".
  • Jan 5: After three days of silence, hundreds of Nithari villagers came out on the streets and demanded justice even as the two accused were taken to Gujarat for a narco-analysis test. The Uttar Pradesh government finally ordered a CBI inquiry.

  • Jan 6: Police suspected cannibalism for the first time.
  • Jan 9: More skeletons found in the drain behind the bungalow.
  • Jan 10/11: The CBI took over the probe and took custody of documents.
  • Jan 13: Around 30 officers, mainly CBI sleuths and forensic experts, found more human remains from two drains. Over the next few days more skulls were recovered from the drains.
  • Jan 25: A group of lawyers and bystanders attacked Pandher and Koli when they were being taken to a court in Ghaziabad, next to Noida.
  • Jan 27: The investigating agencies ruled out the possibility of organ trade as the motive for the killings.
  • Feb 13: The CBI said bones were of four women and 15 children. The Uttar Pradesh police had already registered 19 cases.
  • March 1: Koli recorded his confessional statement in a Delhi court.
  • March 22: The CBI gave a clean chit to Pandher but indicted Koli as a cannibal, charging him with rape of 20-year-old Payal.
  • CBI joint director Arun Kumar said Koli cooked a breast of the first women he murdered and ate it. He ate the arm of the second women, the liver of his third victim, Kumar said and added that Pandher was not in the house at the time of the killings.

  • April 10: The CBI filed second charge sheet in the killing of 20-year-old Pinki Sarkar. Koli charged with abduction, rape and murder. Pandher spared again.
  • April 24: Third charge sheet filed in the killing of five-year-old Payal. Koli charged, Pandher again spared of killings.
  • May 11: A CBI court asks the agency to take a fresh look at Pandher's role.
  • Till now, the CBI has filed 16 charge sheets and the court has framed charges of rape and murder against Pandher in six cases.

    The judgement in the case relating to the murder of 14-year-old Rimpa Haldar came Thursday. The CBI in its charge sheet in this case, filed in May 2007, accused Koli of rape and murder. After two months, the court slapped similar charges on Pandher.

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