|The bodies of four children were discovered yesterday as more lurid details emerged of the two other serial killings in India in the past fortnight.
The badly decomposed bodies were discovered at an abandoned rice mill owned by an influential politician in the northern state of Punjab.
The grim find followed the unearthing of the bodies of nine labourers in Hyderabad, a southern IT hub, at the weekend and the discovery in Delhi two weeks ago of the dismembered remains of at least 17 children. The labourers had all been sodomised.
The investigation into the Delhi deaths has offered a gory insight into the minds of two alleged serial killers. Newspapers carried in graphic detail yesterday the news that Surendra Koli, one of the accused in the “house of horrors” case, may have eaten the organs of some of his victims, “even making kebabs out of them”. Police said that they had found flesh in the fridge of the bungalow in the upmarket suburb of Noida, where the skulls and bones of the children, thought to have vanished from a nearby slum, were found inside storm drains.
The gruesome account emerged after Koli, a domestic servant, was administered a “truth serum” by forensic scientists. “He told the experts he ate the liver of the girl but vomited immediately,” The Times of India reported. “But soon he got the taste of the flesh.”
The same report claimed that Koli, who was paraded outside the laboratory yesterday by policemen who raised his balaclava for the cameras, had sex with the corpses of his victims.
His employer, Moninder Singh Pandher, has also been charged with multiple murder, rape and kidnap, although no details of his truth serum test have yet emerged.
The disused mill in which the four children were found belongs to Jagmeet Singh Brar, a lawyer and former MP for the ruling Congress Party, who denied any knowledge. He claimed that he rented out the property 15 years ago and it was closed five years ago after a slump in business.
It is believed that the victims were children of migrant labourers reported missing from a nearby village in November. The two girls and two boys, aged between 9 and 13, had been strangled with a ligature and their bodies half-burnt, according to investigating officers. At least one girl is thought to have been raped.
Policemen found the bodies in Muktsar, a village about 120 miles (190km) southwest of Amritsar, after they sought shelter from the cold and were overcome by the stench.
Mr Brar, from a pre-eminent Punjabi family, said that he would co-operate fully with the investigation. He told Indian television that he could have been the victim of “one-upmanship” by political rivals trying to sully his reputation.