Madhavi Viswanathan and MK Viswanathan waited 15 years for justice after their 25-year-old daughter was shot dead when she was returning from work on September 30, 2008. This afternoon, when a Delhi court convicted five people in the case, the elderly couple fought back tears.
Speaking to mediapersons after the verdict, Ms Viswanathan said, “We lost our daughter, but this will act as a deterrent for others otherwise they (the convicts) would have been emboldened. At least, one gang would be out. That’s all.” She said she wants life sentence for the convicts.
At this point, a man waiting behind her gently patted Ms Vishwanathan’s shoulder. She turned, recognised him and hugged him. “Thank you very much,” she said. The gentleman smiled.
HGS Dhaliwal, now special commissioner of police of 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 neighbourhood.
Today, when the much-awaited verdict came, the police officer was at the court to support the elderly couple whose lives were overturned that night. Visuals from the court also showed Mr Dhaliwal putting an arm around Mr Viswanathan’s shoulder as the elderly man thanked him for his support.
When mediapersons asked for his response to the verdict, the officer said he is “very happy”. “It took us six months to work out the case. And every single day, Mr Viswanathan attended our review meetings, saw our team working on this case. Mr Viswanathan was made an offer for a CBI investigation. But this is a rare case in which the victim’s family said they want Delhi Police to work on this case,” he said.
The officer said he is happy that Delhi Police lived up to the faith Soumya Vishwanathan’s family placed in them.
The 25-year-old was found dead in her car, with a gunshot wound on her head.
Police’s first breakthrough in the case came while it was investigating another murder case – that of IT executive Jigisha Ghose, found dead in Faridabad months after Soumya.
Kapoor, Shukla and Malik had been arrested in connection with the IT executive’s death. During questioning, police found their links with the Vasant Vihar murder. Thereafter, two more accused were 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 loot. The fifth accused, Ajay Sethi, was held guilty of helping the others.