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Woman shot by man disguised as lawyer in courtroom

Suspect fires four rounds before escaping through backdoor of court canteen in India’s capital

Namita Singh
Friday 21 April 2023 12:34 BST
Media representatives stand outside the Saket court complex in New Delhi on 6 November 2019
Media representatives stand outside the Saket court complex in New Delhi on 6 November 2019 (AFP via Getty Images)

A man disguised as a lawyer shot at a woman and injured her inside a court complex in India’s capital New Delhi.

The accused, Rajendra Jha, fired four rounds and managed to escape through the back door of the court canteen, according to officials. The woman, identified only by her first name Radha, was rushed to hospital immediately.

A video of the incident being shared widely on social media showed the woman, wearing a red traditional dress, screaming and clutching at a wound on her stomach.

The incident occurred at a district court complex in south Delhi’s Saket area, where the woman was appearing for a case related to a financial dispute with her husband.

The suspect reportedly accused the woman of taking Rs 250,000 (£2,458) from him for an investment and had promised him high returns.

According to media reports, the accused is a lawyer by profession but had been suspended by the Bar Council of India – a statutory body that regulates legal practice and legal education in the country.

“The accused had reached the court this morning dressed as a lawyer. He fired at the woman when she was discussing the case with her lawyer. He escaped through the backdoor of the kitchen,” an unnamed police official was quoted as saying by news channel NDTV.

“Two persons, a woman and a lawyer, have suffered bullet injuries in the firing incident,” deputy police commissioner Chandan Chowdhary told the Hindustan Times, confirming the shooting.

Delhi’s chief minister Arvind Kejriwal condemned the incident and criticised the law and order situation in the national capital, a union territory where the police force is run by the federal government. Mr Kejriwal opposes the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that is in power in the country.

“The law and order situation in Delhi has completely broken down. Instead of obstructing the work of others and doing dirty politics on everything, everyone should focus on their own work,” Mr Kejriwal said. “And if they cannot manage, then resign so that someone else can do it. The safety of the people cannot be left to god.”

The incident comes days after a lawyer was shot dead in a court in southwest Delhi’s Dwarka area by two men on a bike, who also disguised themselves as lawyers to enter the premises.

In September 2021, two gunmen fired multiple shots at gangster Jitender Gogi as he appeared inside a courtroom in the Rohini area.

The men waited for Gogi before shooting him dead. They were killed by Delhi’s police officials who opened fire in retaliation.

In December 2021, a personal rivalry between an accused and a lawyer was determined as the reason behind a low intensity blast at the Rohini court.

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