Five people were today convicted in the 2008 murder case of journalist Soumya Vishwanathan. A Delhi court also held the accused guilty of loot and under provisions of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla, Baljit Mallick and Akshay Kumar were held guilty of murder and loot. The fifth accused, Ajay Sethi, was held guilty of helping the others.
Soumya, a 25-year-old journalist with Headlines Today, was killed at Delhi’s Vasant Vihar on September 30, 2008 while she was on her way back from work. Her body was found in her car. She had suffered a headshot.
Speaking to the media after the judgment, Soumya’s mother said, “We lost our daughter, but this will act as a deterrent for others.” She said she wants life imprisonment for the convicts.
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.
“They are charged under murder, destruction of evidence, forgery and criminal conspiracy. MCOCA has also been slapped against the all five accused,” senior police officer HGS Dhaliwal had then said.
This afternoon, the senior officer hugged Soumya Vishwanathan’s mother after the verdict.
MCOCA, first enacted in Mumbai, was extended to Delhi in 2002 by the Union Home Ministry.