The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Caste murders in India

Ten years have passed since the Indian caste order of the “Untouchable” was made illegal. However, prejudice against this lower class still exists. A recent case of such bigotry resulted in no attempt by the police to investigate the deaths of 17 women and children. Family members of the missing people claimed that police paid no attention to the reports of missing persons that were filed. The police even misled the missing children’s parents. Durga Prasad told MSNBC in December, “The police tell us they’re looking and asked us to keep looking too, but we have no news about our child.” Prasad’s 7-year-old daughter went missing on Sept. 25.

Other parents were outright dismissed. Pappu Lal, whose 8-year-old daughter went missing, said to MSNBC that police told him, “You people just give birth to children and leave them on the streets, and then you want police to find them when they go missing.”

The bodies of 17 dismembered women and children recently turned up in a storm drain near the house of Moninder Singh Pandher in an affluent New Delhi suburb, Noida, India. Lal’s daughter was one of the children found in the sewer.

First-year Isaac McAlister found that the reluctance of the police to do anything a form of negligence and an obvious lack of interest in people of lower social standing. “It reflects a socio-economic tension and disregard of the human rights for a group of people who are probably not even regarded by society because of their social standing,” McAlister said.

Two years have passed since many of the 17 people went missing due, in part, to the police department’s disinterest in the cases. The investigation finally got underway when people were led to the storm drain by a nauseating scent next to Pandher’s house.

Six police officers were recently fired and three higher ranking officials were suspended for failure to investigate the claims made by the victims’ family members, most of whom who are reportedly poor migrant workers.

The negligent police are not only being dismissed, but courts have ordered a report detailing the missing people and what actions the police made.

First-year Liz Chandler believes the punishments given to the officers were just. “The punishment will probably temper things for the families of the murder victims,” Chandler said, “but it’s obvious there’s a bigger problem that needs to be fixed.”

Police work on the case has picked up since the six officers were fired; and Moninder Singh Pandher, a business man, and his servant, Surender Kohli, were taken into custody and charged with kidnapping, rape and murder.

According to Australian News, the two are reportedly being questioned with “truth serum,” also known as Sodium Penthanol.

Kohli confessed to murdering 15 people, 10 children and five women, upon being shown photos.

Noida Police Chief, R.K.S. Rathore, said to the Associated Press, “Pandher used prostitutes, and that when none were available, he had Kohli lure children to his house with the promise of sweets.”

“The first thought that occurred to me is that this business man must be a sociopath,” said McAlister. “He understands he can escape the consequences of his actions because of his social status.”

According to the Associated Press, there has been outrage in India since police began recovering human remains from the drains near Pandher’s house on Friday.

Because of the unfortunate circumstances of these murders, which have been described as “grisly,” The Indian Tribune reported that other cities have been inspired to look back over their police reports of missing children.

First-year Chris Allman thinks that the fact that police in others cities are going back over old missing persons cases is a good thing. Allman said, “It’ll give closure in other areas where the police might not have cared enough in the past.

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