NEW DELHI: It seemed like a terror attack as gunshots rang out in staccato bursts, leaving people scrambling for cover behind doors and under tables and chairs in the courtrooms of the Rohini court complex, eyewitnesses said on Friday after the shootout in which three persons were killed.
Jailed gangster Jitendra Gogi and his two assailants posing as lawyers were killed inside crowded courtroom number 207 in a dramatic shootout that also saw the police fire bullets in retaliation.
The two gunmen dressed as lawyers belonged to a rival gang, officials said.
In videos recorded by eyewitnesses, which went viral on social media, at least 10 gunshots can be heard and people, including children, can be seen running for cover as armed police personnel enter the courtroom.
Judge Gagandeep Singh sat in the court around 10.15 am and around 11.40 am, Gogi accompanied by Delhi Police personnel, including commandos, was brought for the hearing, advocate Sunil Tomar, who was present in the courtroom said.
“Within five minutes, two men in black dresses entered the court and started shooting at Gogi. Policemen retaliated and killed both of them,” Tomar told reporters.
The lawyer said that unable to understand what was happening, he took cover behind a door with others.
“I believe, the assailants conducted a recce before Gogi came into the court. I had spotted one of the assailants in the court complex. The person was well-built. But I did not pay attention, thinking he would be a lawyer,” Tomar said.
Eyewitnesses claimed that around 15 to 17 people were present in the courtroom when the firing started.
Lawyer Manoj Nigam claimed that a woman advocate was injured in the shooting.
“I was in another courtroom when the incident happened. Everyone got scared. The attackers came dressed like lawyers. I want that even lawyers should be checked by police so that no other person enters the court’s premises,” he said.
Some of the eyewitnesses, who ran for cover as shots were fired, assumed it was a terror attack.
“I felt it was a terrorist attack. So many shots were fired and we were scared and feared for our lives,” said advocate A P Singh. Jitender Maan alias Gogi, who carried a reward of Rs 6.5 lakh, was arrested along with his three of his accomplices from Gurgaon in March, according to police.
A few months ago, Gogi’s associate Fajja escaped from police custody when he was produced at the Karkardooma court.
Since then, the counter intelligence team of the Special Cell was accompanying Gogi and his associates to court related hearings, said a senior police officer.