New Delhi, Oct 24 (UNI) The families of the two victims in the Connaught Place shootout case today welcomed the Delhi court verdict, sentencing ten policemen, including former Assistant Commissioner of police S S Rathi, to life imprisonment.
Rathi's team had shot dead Pradeep Goyal and Jagjit Singh on March 31, 1997, in Connaught Place in broad daylight. A third occupant in the car, Tarun Preet Singh, had survived the shooting.
An emotional father of Jagjit Singh said,''The inhuman people had killed my innocent son and his companion and labelled it as an encounter. After ten years of legal battle, I am happy that the sinners have been given what they deserved.'' Kashmira Singh, Jagjit's brother-in-law however said at least two of the seniors SS Rathi and Anil Kumar should have got death penalty.
Stating that the conviction has reaffirmed his family's faith in the judicial process, he said, ''It has cleared my jijaji's name.
People had branded him a terrorist. At least, now with the policemen going to jail, there will be no doubts in people's minds.'' Neema Goyal, wife of Pradeep Goyal, said she had expected death penalty for at least two of the convicts. ''But I am glad that at least something has happened. It will set an example for similar other cases and also act as a deterrent for the Police too.'' About her next course of action, she said it was upto the CBI to decide. ''We will cooperate with whatever they feel is best.'' A lawyer for Rathi, said his client should not be given death because it was a case for mistaken identity. The policemen mistook the businessmen for Uttar Pradesh gangster Mohd Yaseen, he said.
But the court had rejected the theory.
Apart from SS Rathi, the other convicts are - Inspector Anil Kumar, Sub-Inspector Ashok Rana, Head Constables Shiv Kumar, Tejpal Singh, Mahavir Singh, Constables Sumer Singh, Subhash Chand, Sunil Kumar and Kothari Ram.