A government investigation into the gruesome murders of about 20 women and children in India on Wednesday criticised police and local officials for ignoring reports of missing children mainly because they were poor.
The case, which has shocked the entire nation, came to light last month when human remains – including body parts and skulls, mostly of children – were found in the backyard and drain of a rich businessman's house in Noida, a satellite town of New Delhi.
The businessman and his domestic servant have been arrested.
In a statement, a special committee set up by the ministry of women and child development to probe the case said it was 'evident' that there was 'apathy' and indifference' by local authorities and police to the reports of missing children.
'The committee has observed that the victims' families did not receive any support or cooperation from the administration of the community until very recently,' said the statement.
'It was felt that reporting and investigating of case of children missing are not necessary priority especially from poor families.'
The police, who apparently ignored complaints for more than two years, is also under scrutiny by the country's top investigating agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which took over the case a week ago.
Authorities sacked six policemen and suspended four others for negligence but accusations against the police continue, Reuters reports.
Federal detectives have issued a public appeal for information to help unravel India’s most macabre serial killings in decades, officials said yesterday.
The national notice was published late Tuesday as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) broadened its search beyond Nithari, the village where 42 bags packed with human body parts have been found so far.
Officially 19 people have been murdered, but the media says the toll could exceed 40, gulf-times.com reports.
A six-year-old girl says she is ready to testify that she was stalked for days by Nithari serial-killing suspect Surendra Koli, who allegedly tried to walk her into the white mansion around which dozens of children were killed and dumped. The girl says Maya, a maid at the house where Koli and his co-accused Moninder Singh Pandher lived, too made a similar attempt on one occasion.
Lawyers say schoolgirl Mehnaz Khan, whose friend Pooja was one of the victims of the alleged serial killers, could become a key witness in the investigation against Koli.
Mehnaz's mother Shamshad Begum said Mehnaz had shuddered when she saw the white-coloured house and Koli's face on television last month, hindustantimes.com reports.
Speeding up its investigations in the Nithari serial killings, the CBI said that there were no evidence so far of Cannibalism on the part of either of the main accused Moninder Singh Pandher and Surendra Koli.
Forensic experts of the CBI said on Wednesday that they have got enough evidence to confirm that 22 killings took place in Nithari village of Noida. However, as of yet Cannibalism is ruled out on the basis of eveidence got so far.
The CBI will begin collecting the DNA samples of parents claiming to have lost their offsprings in Nithari serial killings even as the agency held consultations with forensic experts on solving the case.
Hence, the collection of DNA samples of those claiming that their kin had been murdered by Koli in the infamous D-5 house of Pandher has been given top priority, zeenews.com says.
Prepared by Alexander Timoshik
The Americans came to realise that they would have to either leave the region or weaken their presence there. It is Russia that is filling the vacuum now