A CBI court in Ghaziabad sentenced Moninder Singh Pandher and his domestic help Surinder Koli to death in the rape and murder of a 20-year-old woman in Noida. Pronouncing the quantum of sentence, the court observed that the case falls under the ‘rarest of the rare’ category. Pinki Sarkar was abducted and killed in 2006. The duo were found guilty by the court on July 22.
Koli abducted Pinki from outside Pandher’s residence when she was returning home from work, and raped and killed her. After committing the crime he beheaded the victim and threw the head and her garments in the drain behind the residence. The prosecution also charged Koli with tampering of evidence. An FIR was lodged in the case in 2007 after Pinki’s parents identified her clothes. Her identity was later established through DNA profiling.
Though Pandher pleaded not guilty in the case, he was found guilty of conspiracy. This is the eight case in the Nithari killings. The Allahabad High Court earlier acquitted Pandher, but he is now facing trial in three other cases. Koli was death sentence in six of the 16 filed against him.
The case came to light after police discovered skulls and skeletal remains of 16 people including children from the drain outside Pandher’s residence.