Under fire over police inaction that led to serial killings and sexual abuse of children in Uttar Pradesh's industrial town of Noida, the state government on Wednesday night suspended two Superintendents of Police and sacked six policemen who were found guilty of negligence.
Adding to the pressure on the Mulayam Singh Yadav government, the Centre stepped into the issue forming a high-level inquiry committee to go into police lapses and the Allahabad High Court asked UP Director General of Police to furnish a report on the incidents on February 6.
Piyush Mordia, who was Senior Superintendent of Police in Noida during the time the grisly murder and sexual abuse of children took place and is now posted in neighbouring Ghaziabad, was suspended along with Soumitra Yadav, Additional SP, Noida. UP Chief Secretary Navin Chandra Bajpai told reporters in Lucknow late in the evening that said Circle Officer Sewark Ram was also suspended.
UP Chief Secretary Navin Chandra Bajpai told reporters in Lucknow late on Wednesday evening that two SHOs and four police outpost incharge near the village have been dismissed from service.
The heads of the policemen rolled after submission of the report by a two-member committee headed by Home Secretary Arun Kumar Sinha which visited the house of industrialist Mohinder Singh Pandher in Noida, the scene of abuse and killings, on Wednesday and Tuesday and found the police officials prima facie guilty of negligence.
Those dismissed from the service are police outpost incharge of the area Rajiv Balian, Kamarpal Singh, Vinod Pandey and Simranjeet Kaur (all sub inspectors) and two Station House Officers R N Singh Yadav and Deepak Chaturvedi, Bajpai said.
Replying to a question, Principal Secertary (Home) S K Agarwal said FIRs can also be lodged against them after going through the report. Under growing attack from political rivals over the police handling of the ghastly crime, Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav did not rule out a CBI probe into the grisly killings but said he would await the report of the two-member committee looking into the issue before taking a decision.
He promised stern action against those found guilty of lapses in the whole episode. Five days after the issue rocked the country, the Ministry of Women and Child Development set up a committee headed by Joint Secretary Manjula Krishnan to investigate the serial killings and order issue that falls within the domain of the state government. Also consisting of Joint Secretary (Police) in the Home Ministry V N Gaur, Secretary, Women and Child Development, UP Government, Balvinder Kumar and Director, WCD Ministry, J S Kochher, the committee has been asked to look into efforts made by the local administration, especially the police, to locate the missing children.
Under the terms of reference, the committee would assess the level of cooperation and assistance provided by the local administration, especially the police, to the affected parents and families.
Meanwhile, the parents of eight of the victims, who were given compensation of Rs 2 lakh each by the state government, expressed dissatisfaction with the relief given and met the two-member panel to return the cheques. They were, however, persuaded by the officials not to return the cheques. In Lucknow, the state government hiked the compensation to the families of the deceased children to Rs 5 lakh each from Rs 2 lakh.
Admitting police failure in the case, SSP R K S Rathore said, "We did not get wind of it. On the investigation, he said out of the at least 17 victims, 10 were girls. He said one of the identified victims is Payal, a suspected prostitute, probing whose kidnapping case police unearthed the skeletal remains in the main suspect Moninder Singh's house in Sector 31.
Payal is the only grown-up victim among those identified so far, with all the other 11 victims being below the age of 10.