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Ten Delhi cops convicted for shootout

The court finds Delhi Police ballistic expert Roop Singh guilty of fabricating evidence and issues a notice to him, reports Naziya Alvi.

delhi Updated: Oct 17, 2007 01:38 IST
Naziya Alvi

Neema Goyal waited 10 years for this moment. When the judge pronounced guilty the 10 policemen standing shoulder-to-shoulder just a few feet away, she broke down.



Neema wants to see the guilty policemen hanged. "I want death penalty for them. The punishment should be exemplary," she told reporters outside the courtroom. The judge scheduled the sentencing for October 24.



Her husband Pradeep Goyal and his friend Jagjit Singh were shot dead on March 31, 1997 by a police team led by ACP Satyavir Singh Rathi.



The policemen have been found guilty of murder, criminal conspiracy, destruction of evidence and giving false evidence in court. As they have been found guilty of murder, they could either get death or life imprisonment.



In their defence, the policemen had claimed it was a case of "mistaken identity". They were actually after UP gangster Mohammad Yaseen and his associates.



One police team started tailing the car carrying Pradeep and his friends from the Mother Dairy plant in East Delhi.



Another team lay in wait in Connaught Place, near Statesman House on Barakhamba Road.



As the car waited at a traffic signal, a police team threw a ring around it and opened fire. Pradeep and Jagjit died in the car; Tarunpreet, the third occupant of the car, escaped with gunshot wounds.



The police tried to make this look like an encounter. They claimed they had been fired at first. And for good measure they put a gun in the car. Their lie was nailed by the relatives of the dead. The CBI was told to investigate the case.



Pronouncing the policemen guilty on Tuesday, the court said, "It proves beyond doubt that the accused had conspired to kill Yaseen even if he was unarmed and therefore they were ready with a weapon and cartridges, and two empty cartridges to plant in the car so as to show that the first bullet was fired from inside the car."



Additional sessions judge Vinod Kumar also issued a notice to initiate proceedings against ballistic expert Roop Singh for tampering with evidence. Though a prosecution witness, Singh had told the court that a shot had been indeed fired from inside the car, as claimed by the policemen. The court observed that he had deliberately introduced a 7.65 caliber pistol bullet head in the court while recording his evidence to mislead the court.



Singh was earlier pulled by Delhi HC for introducing the two-weapon theory and misleading the court in the Jessica Lall murder case.