Security increased in jails lodging Delhi firing gangs

Rohini court shootout: Security increased in jails lodging Gogi, Tillu gang members

Gogi was shot dead by two men, who were dressed as lawyers, inside a crowded courtroom on Friday

Security at Rohini Court. Credit: PTI Photo

Security was beefed up in Delhi jails where Gogi and Tillu gang members are lodged, a day after a bloody shootout at the Rohini court left three persons, including gangster Jitender Gogi, dead, even as lawyers on Saturday abstained from work, demanding stringent measures to thwart such incidents.

Gogi was shot dead by two men, who were dressed as lawyers, inside a crowded courtroom on Friday, with police in retaliatory fire killing the assailants, who are suspected to be from the slain gangster's rival Tillu gang.

Police said that the metal detectors at the Rohini court were working at the time of the incident.

Read more: Multiple shots fired within minutes, seemed like terror attack: Rohini court shootout witnesses

A medical board will be constituted for the postmortem of the three criminals killed in the shootout on Friday, a senior police officer said.

"The two attackers were dressed as lawyers. Once we get the CCTV footage, things will be clear how they managed to sneak into the premises," the officer said.

A day after the Delhi Police's Crime Branch took over the case officially, its team visited the courtroom to re-examine the scene of crime and collect evidence, according to the officer.

Witnesses, lawyers and court staff, who were present inside the courtroom during the shootout, will also be approached to know how the incident transpired on Friday afternoon, the officer said.

"Footage from CCTV cameras in and around the court premises and mobile footage of the incident are being scrutinised for further examination to establish and ascertain as to how the two assailants with weapons had entered the court," the officer said.

Police suspect that the assailants had conducted a recce of the court premises and knew about Gogi's hearing on Friday.

It is also suspected that the two men were staying just a few kilometres away from the Rohini court. However, all these are to be probed, said the officer.

An application has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Centre and states to take immediate steps for security in subordinate courts.

The application said that gangsters and hardcore criminals may be produced from jails through video-conferencing before the trial court instead of producing them physically.

According to an FIR registered in connection with the Rohini court shootout, Sub-Inspector Vir Singh, who was part of the security team engaged in the exchange of fire, in his statement said several innocent people could have lost their lives if there was no immediate retaliation against the two armed assailants.

Singh said that since the duo was armed with weapons and they were firing indiscriminately, it was not possible for the police team to nab them "physically", especially when the judge, court staff and advocates were inside the courtroom, and anyone could have died.

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.

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Saturday transferred 40 senior Delhi Police officers, including 11 special commissioners and 28 DCPs and additional DCPs, a move that comes a day after the shootout incident.

A senior jail official said, "Security has been raised and officials are keeping a tight vigil on jails where Gogi and Tillu gang members have been lodged."

Police suspect that the Tillu gang was behind the courtroom incident.

A senior police official said adequate personnel have also been deployed inside and outside the court to ensure no untoward incident takes place in the future.

Read more: CJI Ramana expresses concern over Rohini court violence

He said concerns have also been raised about functioning of metal detectors in the court premises and the matter has been taken up with the court administration.

"When it comes to checking and frisking, it has been observed that lawyers do not want to be frisked and that was a major problem faced. It is not limited to Rohini court alone as this has been observed in other lower courts as well. But we are in touch with the Bar Association of Rohini court and they are also cooperating," the police official said.

Sanjeev Nasiar, the spokesperson of Coordination Committee of all District Courts Bar Associations in Delhi, said that lawyers abstained from work in all district courts in the national capital.

The strike was called by the committee seeking modification of security norms inside all the seven district courts premises here.

The courts, however, passed orders and judgments that were already scheduled for Saturday, he said.

Advocate Manjeet Mathur, the secretary of Rohini District Courts Bar Association, said that the strike was peaceful and no information regarding any unpleasant incident was received from any of the seven courts premises.

On Friday, Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Gagandeep Singh was engaged in court proceedings and besides them, court staff and around five-six advocates were inside the room when suddenly, two men, who were dressed as lawyers and were seated, stood up and whipped out their pistols.

The assailants started firing indiscriminately at Gogi and by the time police team could have "reacted", Gogi had already sustained several bullet injuries, the FIR said.

Keeping in mind the safety and security of everyone, Singh and his commandos -- Constables Shakti and Chirag -- immediately opened fire at the two armed men from their respective weapons. Simultaneously, personnel from the Special Cell and the Rohini Special Staff also opened fire, it stated.

The joint commissioner of police (northern range) has been asked to inquire into the incident and submit a report while the case is being handled by the Crime Branch.

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