TV journalist Soumya Vishwanathan’s father died on Saturday, two weeks after a Delhi court awarded life term to four men convicted in her decade-old murder case.
MK Vishwanathan, 82, died just a day after what would have been his daughter’s 41st birthday.
On the fateful night of September 30, 2008, Mr Vishwanathan stayed up late as Soumya, then a news producer with Headlines Today, was held up at her workplace. His calls went unanswered. Little did they know the journey back home would be her last.
Soumya left her Jhandewalan office a little after 3 am, driving alone to her home in Delhi’s Vasant Kunj. On her way, she overtook a car, police said. The car was occupied by Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla, Baljeet Malik, and Ajay Kumar, who have been convicted in the case.
Noticing they had been overtaken by a woman driver, the convicts sped up and tried to intercept her. Soumya did not stop. One of them quickly pulled out his countrymade gun and fired at her.
She was shot in the head and died on the spot. Her car crashed against a divider. The killers had fled the scene, but returned 20 minutes later to check on her, and fled again seeing the cops, an officer said.
Mr Vishwanathan’s life changed overnight. For the next 15 years, his routine included following up on the case and frequenting the police station. The legal battle ended in justice being served last month.
The four convicts – Ravi, Amit, Baljeet, and Ajay – were found guilty on October 18 and awarded life imprisonment on November 25. A fifth convict, Ajay Sethi, has been jailed for three years for helping them. The court said the crime wasn’t the rarest of rare, ruling out give death penalty.
Soumya’s mother, Madhavi Vishwanathan, said she was “satisfied” with the judgement, but not “happy”.