It is as if the house is hiding itself in shame. On either sides are affluent multi-storey bungalows, D-4 and D-6. But D-5 in Sector-31, Noida — where several murders and rapes were committed — seems to blend into the bushes, trying to hide its many secrets.
For two years before December 2006, several children of downscale Nithari village, adjacent to sector 31, began to disappear.
Complaints fell on deaf ears until one day, two parents and another resident found a decomposed hand in a drain outside D-5.
In the days that followed, a macabre tale enfolded, with bodyparts of 16 children and 1 adult recovered from the drain outside the residence.
There were two main accused, businessman and owner of the house, Moninder Singh Pandher and his help Surinder Koli. Almost eight years later, the residents of Nithari found out on Thursday that Koli would be executed later this month.
The house now looks haunted by its past, long forsaken by its owners. The gate is hidden from view by rusted yellow police barricades. Once manicured, the garden’s untended hedges conceal most of the grey structure. The only window visible from outside stands shattered.
Anil Haldar, the father of 14-year-old Rimpi, one of Koli’s victims, stood outside the home on Thursday, giving interview after interview. He kept looking at the open drain and the plastics clogging it. “We found the organs of our daughters in packets like these that December…,” he said.
But even as they look forward to their “day of justice” when Koli will be hanged, the battle is only half won.
“We knew Koli would be executed, but for us, Pandher is equally culpable. We heard that he had got bail. I have filed an appeal in the Supreme Court. I may only be an auto-rickshaw driver, but I will find the resources to fight the case to the end,” Halder said.