Jailed gangster Jitendra Gogi and his two assailants posing as lawyers were killed inside a crowded Rohini courtroom on Friday in a dramatic shootout that also saw the police fire bullets in retaliation, officials said.
Video footage of the incident, which exposed security lapses in the system, showed policemen and lawyers rushing out in panic as gunshots rang out inside courtroom number 207. The two gunmen dressed as lawyers belonged to a rival gang, officials said.
Witnesses said a woman lawyer also received a bullet injury in her leg and one claimed that the gang members pumped 10 bullets into Gogi.
Police said the incident happened around 1.15 pm when Gogi was taken to the courtroom for a hearing.
#WATCH | Visuals of the shootout at Delhi's Rohini court today
As per Delhi Police, assailants opened fire at gangster Jitender Mann 'Gogi', who has died. Three attackers have also been shot dead by police. pic.twitter.com/dYgRjQGW7J
" ANI (@ANI) September 24, 2021
Advocate Sunil Tomar, who was present in the courtroom for his client's bail matters, said there were 15-17 people in the court of judge Gagandeep Singh when the gangsters opened fire.
"As Gogi entered the courtroom, two persons, who were dressed as lawyers, whipped out their pistols and suddenly opened fire upon him. After hearing gunshots, people started running to save their lives and the judge also went back to his office just behind the courtroom," Tomar told PTI.
"For the first 15 minutes, I could not figure out what was happening there."
Advocate Manoj Kumar Nigam, who was also there, said a woman lawyer has received a bullet injury in her leg.
A senior police officer said that Gogi was escorted by members of the counterintelligence unit of the Delhi Police's Special Cell.
"When Gogi entered the courtroom, the two assailants in lawyers'' uniform opened fire on him. Immediately, the personnel from the counterintelligence team retaliated and the two assailants died on the spot," he said.
The joint commissioner of police (northern range) has been asked to enquire into the incident and submit a report.
The attackers are believed to be from the Tillu Tajpuria gang, as per India Today. A police officer told The Indian Express that the rivalry between Gogi and Tillu dates back to their college days when both were students of Delhi University and clashed over student politics.
Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana had stated that the killers, who belonged to 'Tillu' gang, were "neutralised" by the officers. He clarified that it was not a gang war, according to News18. One of the two attackers was carrying a reward of Rs 50,000, Asthana told ANI.
Some lawyers claimed this is not the first such shootout incident at the Rohini court.
"I was stepping out of the court when the incident happened. I heard firing and later more rounds were fired...this (incident of firing) has happened for the fourth or fifth time at Rohini. So, the situation has not improved," said advocate Rajiv Agnihotri.
Jitender Maan alias Gogi, who carried a reward of Rs 6.5 lakh on his head, was arrested along with his three accomplices " Kuldeep Naan alias Fajja, Kapil alias Gaurav and Rohit alias Koi " from Gurgaon by a team of Special Cell in March last year, according to police.
The Special Cell was on the lookout for Gogi, Fajja and Gaurav for a long time before tracing them to their hideout in Gurgaon.
A few months ago, Fajja had managed to escape from the police custody when he was being produced in the Karkardooma court, another senior police official said. Since then, a team of Counter Intelligence had been accompanying Gogi and his associates during their court hearings.
Since that incident, the counterintelligence team of the Special Cell escorted Gogi and his associates to the court for hearings, he said.
Gogi was arrested in April under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) by Delhi Police's Special Cell. The MCOCA proposal details 19 cases of murder and attempted murder, besides dozens of extortions, dacoities, carjackings and robberies.
The Indian Express reports that Gogi's associate Kuldeep alias Fajja had managed to escape from police custody a few months ago when he was produced in Karkardooma Court. Since then, a team of Counter Intelligence had been accompanying Gogi and his associates during their court hearings.
A Times of India report had earlier quoted police as saying that Gogi, now 30, had started dealing in property after dropping out of school and had taken to crime after his father's death in 2010.
With inputs from agencies