NEW DELHI: In a shocking incident of security lapse, Delhi’s most wanted gangster Jitender Maan alias Gogi was shot dead by his rival gang inside a courtroom in the presence of a judge on Friday afternoon, where he was brought to appear in a criminal trial by Delhi Police.
Two assailants belonging to the rival Tillu Tajpuria gang were already present in the courtroom in lawyers’ robes. As Gogi, shepherded by the counter intelligence team and the special cell of the northern range of the Delhi Police, entered courtroom number 207 of the Rohini Court Complex, the attackers whipped out their .30 bore pistols and opened fire, killing him on spot.
Sources said he received five-six bullets. Police personnel in the room then neutralised the assailants.
“The police in escort and other duties responded in a controlled, calibrated manner and in the counter-fire both the assailants received gunshots and were immobilised. All three were later declared brought dead to hospital,” said the police.
Video footage of the incident showed policemen and lawyers rushing out in panic as gunshots rang out inside courtroom. Sources said the special cell of the police had a tip-off about the shootout, but did not have specific input that the assailants would enter the court dressed as lawyers. Sources said the attackers entered the court from Gate number 4 where no security check happens. Once inside, they took the stairs inside of a lift to reach the courtroom around 12-12.30 pm.
The case for which Gogi appeared was against Sunil Maan of the Tillu gang. Mann was already in the courtroom. The police identified the attackers as Rahul and Morish. Chief Justice N V Ramana Friday expressed deep concern and spoke to the Delhi High Court Chief Justice in this regard. Lawyers’ bodies called for suspension of work on Saturday.
The incident also sparked verbal spat between the ruling AAP in Delhi and the BJP. Calling it a “big security lapse”, AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said, “The Centre appointed their favourite officer Rakesh Asthana as Delhi’s Commissioner by bypassing all rules. The high court should take suo motu cognizance and haul up the top cop,” . Delhi BJP leader Neelkant Bakshi retorted that the AAP should maintain “restrain” and avoid playing politics over a sensitive incident like this.
Timely intervention of police prevented more casualties inside court
Police officials said Gogi was being escorted by a strong contingent of Delhi Armed Police as he was a high-risk undertrial prisoner. “At around 1.15 pm, soon after Gogi entered the court room number 207, where the presiding officer was holding the court, two unidentified assailants, who were already present in the court, wearing full attire of practicing advocates, suddenly opened fire at him from their weapons,” said DCP Pranav Tayal. As Gogi was hit by a volley of bullets, the Delhi Police present in the escort and on other duties counter-fired at the assailants.
“The police responded in a controlled, calibrated manner and in the counter fire both the assailants received gunshots and were immobilised. All three persons were later declared brought dead in the hospital,” said the police. As per officials, Gogi and Sunil Maan of Tillu gang were to be appeared before the court in the same murder case. Maan had appeared before the court half-an-hour before Gogi. Some court officials claimed that a female lawyer was also injured during the incident but the police denied it.
According to officials, Jitendra Mann aka Gogi and his associate Kuldeep Fazza, a Delhi University topper, were arrested from Gurugram in the last year by the Special Cell of Delhi Police. Fazza later escaped from police custody when he was being presented before the Karkardoom court. Since then, a team of police was accompanying Gogi during the court hearings. Officials said more than 50 people were involved in Gogi’s network.
The statement added, "Swift action by a police team in launching counterfire on the two assailants who were in lawyers' attire. Both assailants dead along with UTP Gogi. Further probe is on."
The attackers were there to attack a rival gangster and were dressed as lawyers and were killed later by police during the firing @NewIndianXpress— kanupsarda (@sardakanu_TNIE) September 24, 2021
This incident raises concern over lackadaisical security in courts of the National Capital.