Pradeep Goyal, 32, was a businessman. His case exposed the Delhi police and its claim of “With you, for you, always”.
Fate: In March 1997, Goyal and his friend were travelling in a Maruti Esteem when a squad of 14 plainclothes policemen reportedly stopped their car in the crowded Connaught Place area. The policemen then allegedly sprayed the car with bullets. Goyal died on the spot.
Family: His wife Neema, who was a housewife, had to qualify herself for a job in order to run the house and bring up her son, then just two years old. She eventually did a B.Ed and started working as a teacher in a private school. She has been fighting the case against the policemen, but said she keeps a low profile because the accused are out on bail. In November, she hired a lawyer to expedite the case.
Case: The case against 10 policemen, including senior officer Satbir Rathi, charged with murdering Goyal and his friend, continues in the CBI court. Nikhil Kumar, the then Police Commissioner and now a Congress parliamentarian, was transferred. A formal case was registered against the accused policemen on the directions of the then Lieutenant Governor. Charges were framed 18 months after Goyal’s death.
The police first claimed Goyal and his friend were Mohammed Yaseen and his associate, but they later admitted that it was a case of “bona fide” mistaken identity. The police had been hunting for Yaseen for his suspected involvement in various kidnappings and dacoity cases, and picked him up a week later without any exchange of fire.
“I have already waited for 10 years for justice,” said Neema, adding: “Recent events like the arrest of three IPS officers in Gujarat in a fake encounter case, have revived my hopes.”