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A special court Tuesday held domestic help Surender Koli guilty of the rape and murder of seven-year-old Arti, one of the 19 young women and children from Noida’s Nithari village whose body parts were found in a drain.

In the second case of the sensational Nithari murders, which shocked the nation with the brutality and hints of cannibalism, the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court convicted Koli. Arguments for the quantum of sentencing will be held Wednesday.

Of the 19 cases of abduction, rape and murder, the CBI filed chargesheets in 16. All the cases are being heard separately.

While Koli, 38, has been charged with rape, abduction and murder in all the cases, his employer 55-year-old Pandher, behind whose bungalow the body parts were found, is co-accused in only six cases.

Only Koli was charged with Arti’s killing. Immediately after the ruling, her father, taxi driver Durga Prasad, submitted a review application before the special court against the pronouncement of the judgment.

He said in his application that his statement before the court was made under CBI duress and requested that it be recorded again.

He also said he would appeal to the high court to ensure that Pandher was chargesheeted.

“We are not satisfied with the entire handling of the case, so we will appeal to the Allahabad High Court, in which we will prosecute Pandher,” Prasad told reporters outside the court.

The CBI said Arti, a kindergarten student of Sarva Hitkari Sikshha Niketan, had left her house to get a chocolate from her grandfather’s house nearby Sep 25, 2006.

When she did not return, Durga Prasad lodged a complaint with Noida police. Police filed the chargesheet in the case Dec 29, 2006.

The CBI, which later took over the investigations, stuck to the Noida police theory on the murder.

Of the 14 Nithari murder cases, the judgment in the first case of Rimpa Haldhar was pronounced about a year ago — main accused Koli and his employer Pandher were sentenced to death by a lower court in Ghaziabad.

The Allahabad High Court upheld the lower court’s punishment given to Koli case but gave a clean chit to Pandher, who was said to be away in Australia when Rimpa’s killing took place on his house.


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