Madhavi Viswanathan and MP Viswanathan waited 15 years for justice after their 25-year-old daughter was shot dead while returning from work on September 30, 2008. As a Delhi court convicted five people in the case this afternoon, the elderly couple fought back tears.
Speaking to the media after the verdict, Ms Viswanathan said: “We have lost our daughter but this will be a deterrent for others otherwise they (the convicts) would have been emboldened. At least one gang would have fallen out. That’s all.” She said she wants life imprisonment for those convicted.
At that moment, a man standing behind her gently tapped Ms. Vishwanathan’s shoulder. She turned around, recognized him and hugged him. “Thank you very much,” she said. The gentleman smiled.
HGS Dhaliwal, now Special Commissioner of Police of the Delhi Police Special Cell, was Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) when Headlines Today journalist Soumya Viswanathan was shot dead in her car in the posh Vasant Vihar area.
When the long-awaited verdict was delivered today, the police officer was at the court to support the elderly couple whose lives were thrown into disarray that night. Footage from the court also showed Mr Dhaliwal putting an arm around Mr Viswanathan’s shoulder as the older man thanked him for his support.
When media persons asked for his reaction to the verdict, the officer said he was “very happy”. ‘It took us six months to work the case out. And every day, Mr. Viswanathan attended our review meetings and watched our team work on this case. Mr Viswanathan was offered a CBI probe. But this is a rare case where the victim’s family said they want Delhi Police to work on the case,” he said.
The officer said he is happy that Delhi Police has lived up to the trust reposed in them by Soumya Vishwanathan’s family.
The 25-year-old was found dead in her car with a gunshot wound to her head.
The police’s first breakthrough in the case came during the investigation into another murder case – that of IT director Jigisha Ghose, who was found dead in Faridabad months after Soumya.
Kapoor, Shukla and Malik had been arrested in connection with the IT manager’s death. During interrogation, the police discovered their connection with the Vasant Vihar murder. Two more suspects were subsequently arrested.
In its 620-page chargesheet filed in 2009, Delhi Police had said the motive behind the murder was robbery.
Among the accused, Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla, Baljit Mallick and Akshay Kumar were convicted of murder and plunder. The fifth suspect, Ajay Sethi, was found guilty of aiding the others.