“I am reaching home in 5 minutes. Keep my breakfast ready”: That was her last phone call.
14 years after 28-year-old Jigisha Ghosh’s murder, her mother Sabita Ghosh recalled the painful day as the verdict was delivered in Headlines Today journalist Soumya Vishwanathan’s murder case.
The murders of her daughter and Soumya are deeply interlinked. Three of the men accused and consequently convicted in both cases are the same. They were the same gang that attacked both women, when they were returning home from work.
Jigisha Ghosh, an I-T executive, was kidnapped and murdered in March 2009, just few meters from her home in Vasant Vihar. She was returning home early in the morning, after finishing presentations for a US project.
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 home from work. Her body was found in her car. She had suffered a headshot.
Though Soumya’s murder happened a year before, the police only managed to crack the case after they arrested Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla and Baljeet Malik in the Jigisha murder and robbery case.
“Soumya’s case was a blind case, there was no evidence, till the arrests in my daugher’s case,” said Sabita Ghosh.
“In my daughter’s case, they found hard evidence, like her ornaments, her mobile phone. They could trace the items they bought with her cards. They bought caps, wrist watch and shoes with her cards. But my daughter used to sign horizontally. Whereas Ravi Kapoor had signed against the card expenses vertically. That was one clear evidence which showed that there was robbery and embezzlement linked to the murder,” she added.
The Delhi Police managed to connect the dots between both cases after the accused allegedly confessed to shooting Soumya Vishwanathan in a similar robbery attempt.
Soumya Vishwanathan’s family and Jigisha Ghosh’s family lived within a stone’s throw of each other, in South Delhi’s Vasant Vihar area.
In the initial days of both investigations, both families kept in touch with each other. But Jigisha’s case wrapped up earlier, with death sentence being awarded to two of the convicts and life sentence to the third in 2016. It was around the same time that Soumya Vishwanathan’s case hit legal hurdles, with change in public prosecutor.
The sentence for two of the accused in Jigisha case was later commuted to life by the Delhi High court.
“After the trial got over, we moved to Noida, and have not been in touch with Soumya’s family. But am very happy that she and her family have finally got justice that they deserve,” said Mrs Ghosh.
Even though in both cases the prosecution has managed to get a conviction, the families still wait for closure.
“My daughter was a shy girl. She was just four years into her job. She had a bright future ahead of her. We wanted death sentence for the accused. But we had already gone through a long legal battle in our old age, and so we decided against appealing in the Supreme Court,” Mrs Ghosh said.
Sentencing in the Soumya Vishwanathan murder case is scheduled for October 26.