Six Indian police officers have been sacked for apparently failing to act on reports of missing children believed to have been raped and killed, authorities said on Thursday. This follows the discovery of their remains.
The skulls and bones of at least 17 people, mostly children, were dug up last week in the backyard of a house in Noida, an industrial town on the outskirts of the capital, New Delhi.
The gruesome case has horrified the country, and police in Uttar Pradesh state, where Noida is located, have been slammed for not adequately investigating complaints from parents about their missing children over the last two years.
Many children could have been saved if the complaints had been probed earlier, activists say.
”We have dismissed four sub-inspectors and two inspectors,” Naveen Bajpai, Uttar Pradesh’s top bureaucrat, told the media.
”Our probe panel had prima facie found these officials guilty of dereliction of duty and gross negligence in responding to complaints made by parents of missing children,” he said.
Police have arrested the businessman who owns the house and his domestic servant in connection with the case. There has been no word from the pair, and it was not immediately known if they had legal representation.
The sackings are part of an investigation by state authorities into the role of police in the incident. Three officers and one junior police officer remain under suspension, Bajpai said.
Earlier this week, anger spilled into the streets of Noida as grieving parents and relatives stoned the house and clashed with police, accusing them of failing to find their children.
In New Delhi, hundreds of people, many of them children, marched silently near Rajghat, the memorial to Indian freedom-movement leader Mahatma Gandhi.
The demonstrators, who wore black bandannas, demanded the Central Bureau of Investigation, India’s federal police agency, probe the killings. — Reuters