Noida, October 16
As the media watches, Ram Kishan hurls a brick into the abandoned bungalow of Moninder Singh Pandher, anger and frustration reflecting on his face.
The labourer’s three-year-old son was one of the victims of the 2006 serial killings.
Emotions overflowed as nearly two-decade-old wounds were opened again on Monday with an order of the Allahabad High Court that acquitted domestic help Surendra Koli and his employer Pandher in the case for lack of evidence.
After throwing the brick, Ram Kishan doesn’t speak to anyone and walks home, two minutes away from Pandher’s bungalow.
The acquittal of Pandher and Koli recalled for many the chilling crime targeting young children that came to light with skeletal remains being found behind Pandher’s bungalow in Sector 30, adjoining Nithari village.
A two-judge bench of Justices Ashwani Kumar Mishra and SHA Rizvi allowed the appeals filed by Koli and Pandher, who were challenging the death sentence given by a CBI court in Ghaziabad. The high court said the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.
Jhabbu Lal (63) and Sunita Devi (60), who lost their daughter, expressed sadness over the latest judgment.
“We are not satisfied with the judgment. This is not right. When someone killing several children gets acquitted, imagine what punishment will those get who kill just one or two people,” Lal said.
The couple meets their daily expenses by ironing clothes barely 50 metres away from the Pandher’s abandoned bungalow.
Lal said he has spent around Rs 4 lakh in fees to lawyers till date and had to even sell off a plot for it.
Sunita Devi, busy ironing clothes but intermittently speaking to reporters, said, “We appeal to PM (Narendra) Modi and CM Yogi Adityanath that those who killed our children should be hanged.” “What kind of law is this which is acquitting these monsters,” she wondered.
Ashok and Rajwati, who now run a footwear shop in Nithari village, had lost their 5-year-old son in the serial killings.
“Our son was born eight years after our marriage...We have lost all hope of justice now, it's been 17 years now,” Rajwati said.
It has been learnt that other victim families no longer live in Nithari village. Koli is currently lodged in a Ghaziabad prison, while Pandher languishes in a Noida jail.
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