Three dead as gunmen open fire inside court hearing for ‘most wanted gangster in Delhi’

·2-min read
File: A police officer stands guard at a roadblock in Delhi on 20 April, 2021 (AFP via Getty Images)
File: A police officer stands guard at a roadblock in Delhi on 20 April, 2021 (AFP via Getty Images)

At least three people were killed and one injured after two gunmen opened fire in a district court in India’s national capital Delhi on Friday.

The attack is believed to have targeted a court hearing involving a man described by local media as Delhi’s most wanted gangster, Jitender Gogi.

Officials said that the two gunmen were disguised in lawyers’ clothing and entered the court looking for Gogi, who was arrested by Delhi Police in March 2020 on charges of attempted murder, extortion, possession of illegal arms, carjacking and land grabbing among others.

Gogi was among those shot in the court, with local media quoting officials as saying he received four bullet wounds and was taken to hospital nearby, where he was declared dead.

According to police officials, the two gunmen were already waiting inside the court when Gogi was brought in for the legal hearing. Just minutes later the two “whipped out pistols and opened fire”, a senior police officer told The Indian Express.

Armed police from Delhi’s Counter Intelligence unit were present at the scene and fired back, shooting the two attackers and killing them. Officials described them as members of a rival local gang, though their identities have not been released. The details of the fourth person shot and injured have not yet been disclosed.

Dramatic video of the moment of the shooting was aired by ANI, an Indian news agency. The footage, shot from the court’s lobby, shows officials running in panic as loud gunshots ring out.

The Indian Express described the shooting as likely to be the latest incident in a long-running rivalry between two gangs involved in extortion rackets in neighbouring parts of Delhi. At least 10 members of the two gangs have been killed and multiple members have faced life-threatening attacks in the last six years, the report added.

Violence between the groups reached a peak during a gang way in an outer neighbourhood of Delhi in 2018, while high-profile crimes attributed to them include the murder of a folk singer. In 2020, gang violence was blamed for an incident where 50 rounds were fired at a man who received 24 different gunshot wounds.

Before his arrest, Gogi had been on the run from police since 2016, and there was a reward of Rs 400,000 (about £4,000) on his head.

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