Cannibalism, necrophilia and organ trafficking are among the rumors swirling around the serial murders that have come to light in recent weeks in Noida, the industrial suburb of Delhi home to numerous technology and outsourcing companies, and are now the subject of international coverage, for instance with a New York Times article today.
What seems established is that the killers were able to abduct, sexually abuse, murder, and dismember upward of 30 young people over more than two years, with reports of missing persons going back at least to 2004.
Also clear is a pattern of police inaction. This Hindustan Times article reports that the police were directed to investigate disappearances in September 2005 but did little. This NDTV report details how a victim’s father suspected Moninder Singh Pandher and his servant Surinder Kohli immediately, and how the police responded:
NDTV has the information that on May 6  when the girl, Payal, went missing, Surinder had made a call from his mobile phone to her.
The girl had gone to their house that day but never returned.
The next day, her father went to police with a complaint against Moninder and Surinder but the police refused to register his complaint.
Later he went to Noida’s Chief Judicial Magistrate requesting him to get the police to register his complaint.
The CJM ordered the police to register a case of kidnapping against Moninder and Surinder.
But, on 29th of June, the police registered a mere missing person’s report, which doesn’t involve any arrests.
The same day, the police interrogated Moninder and his servant Surinder but decided not to press any charges against them.
NDTV has a copy of the Noida CJM’s order dated September 29, 2006 where he has clearly ordered the police to register a case of kidnapping against the two.
In the enquiry report submitted to the CJM court of which NDTV has a copy, Noida police gave a clean chit to Moninder and Surinder and said Payal had eloped.
Payal’s father then moved the Allahabad High Court and in November 2006, the High Court directed the Noida Police to register a case of kidnapping against Moninder and Surinder.
Six months after Payal’s father first went to the police the complaint was finally registered on November – the FIR no 838/06 under sections 363, 366 of the Indian Penal Code.
The Circle Officer Dinesh Yadav, who was to conduct the enquiry, didn’t touch the case at first and handed over the enquiry to his junior.
On November 29, the junior, a second Circle Officer also refused to conduct the enquiry saying that the case did not fall under his jurisdiction.
So, the case came back to Dinesh Yadav and all this while Moninder and Surinder were roaming free going about their business.
Sources have told NDTV that Moninder and Surinder were questioned at least five times in the course of the enquiry but they were let off each time.
The case has all the ingredients for legitimate outrage about two-tier law enforcement and the lack of recourse for marginal, migrant workers, among whom the killers picked their victims. I’m also disturbed/fascinated by the employer-servant relationship of the perpetrators. It goes back to a feudal conception of household employment that a servant would be expected to — and consent to, perhaps even aspire to — join his employer in criminal activities, let alone ones this awful.
Meanwhile, how many other such cases are out there, the press wonders? Not just in India of course. At least this case has a more positive outcome than the 400+ murders of women maquiladora workers in Juarez, Mexico, which the government gave up investigating last August.
P.S.: From the Noida police department website, this wisdom:
Police and Public are the two participants in the system. They should meet each other half way Â– only then, the encounter becomes a feast. The mission of Noida Police Force is to ensure that the resultant outcome of the interaction between Police and Public is positive and their synergy leads to overall social benefit.