‘Shooting in court felt like a terror attack’

Advocate Sunil Tomar was inside courtroom number 207 on the second floor of the Rohini Courts Complex when he saw gangster Jitender Mann alias Gogi being escorted by officers of Delhi Police and Central Reserve Police Force. Just a few mintues later, he heard several gunshots and witnessed the ensuing bloodshed.

Mr. Tomar had a bail matter in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Gagandeep Singh. While there, he saw a large group of police officers entering the premises.

“I thought some high-risk prisoner must be coming. Then I heard Gogi was coming,” he said.

“Within five minutes of Gogi being brought in for hearing, two men (wearing black suits and white shirts) entered the courtroom and got close to Gogi before they started shooting at him. The policemen retaliated and killed the shooters,” Mr. Tomar told reporters.

“The bullets hit Gogi’s chest. They must have fired off around eight bullets at him,” the advocate said.

He added that the courtroom is not very big and there were around 15-17 people present.

“There were four more accused and they thought they were being targetted. They leaped behind the judge’s seat, so did a few advocates. The Judge also managed to take cover behind his desk,” Mr. Tomar recalled.

“For the next 15 minutes, I didn’t know what was happening. I did not know who was dead,” he said. In the ensuing retaliatory fire by the security officers, the two assailants were shot dead.

Advocate Rajiv Agnihotri, who was on the same floor when the incident took place, said: “When I heard the firing, I thought it was a terrorist attack.” As he attempted to see what was happening, CRPF officers sweeped in to control and protect the crowd. “If the Delhi police officials had not shot the two assailants, they might have attacked more people,” he said.

When Gogi, 30, was arrested in March 2020 from an apartment complex in Gurugram, he had a reward of ₹10.5 lakh on his head.

He and his associates had been running an organised crime syndicate for nearly a decade and were involved in extortion, collecting ransom, protection money and committing car-jackings.

Bitter rivals

The rivalry between Gogi and Tillu of Tajpur Kalan village dates back to 2010 when Gogi was new to the world of crime and his close associate Sunil Mann had joined the Tillu gang. Another turning point was Deepak alias Raju, an associate of Tillu, pursuing Gogi’s cousin and teasing Gogi that he was his “brother-in-law”. Deepak was murdered by Gogi in 2015.

The same year, Tillu’s associates killed a close associate of Gogi, Arun alias Commando. The rivalry has been for supremacy ever since and over a dozen members from each side have been murdered.

In 2016, Gogi escaped Delhi Police’s custody when he was being taken to Haryana in a bus and managed to remain on the run till last year.

In 2018, he and his associates gunned down four residents of Tajpur village and two passersby in a shoot-out in north Delhi’s Burari.

A month before his arrest, Gogi and his associates waylaid a man who they thought was supporting his rivals and pumped 48 bullets into him.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 9:49:15 PM |

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