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Nitish Katara Murder Case
Yadav duo held guilty
Sandeep Yadav
Tribune News Service

Nitish Katara
Nitish Katara

New Delhi, May 28
After a trial that lasted almost seven years, the prime accused in Nitish Katara murder case was today held guilty by the Patiala House Court. The court found Vikas Yadav and Vishal Yadav guilty of murdering Nitish Katara. The quantum of punishment would be pronounced on May 30.

The court found Vikas, son of UP politician D.P Yadav, guilty of murder, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence. The court also rejected the plea of Vikas that the pronouncement of verdict be stayed as the Delhi High Court is likely to hear his application seeking a stay on trial court proceedings today. The judge posed a query to defence counsel G.K. Bharti as to whether the High Court had stayed the proceedings in this court. Finding the reply in negative, the court pronounced its verdict: “I hold Vikas Yadav and Vishal Yadav guilty under sections 302, 364, 201 and 34 of the IPC.” The prosecution on its part has made it clear that they will press for capital punishment.

Reacting to the defence lawyers claim that the verdict came because of intense media pressure, the public prosecutor said, “I don’t think that’s true. We had a watertight case as we had presented more than 20 circumstantial evidences. By ruling in our favour, the court has proved that we were right.” Earlier, the court had dismissed Vikas Yadav’s plea seeking re-examination of key witness Ajay Katara and others.

An emotional Neelam Katara, mother of Nitish, said it was a milestone judgement. “It’s a big relief. It’s a milestone judgement. I thank God,” said Neelam.

Nitish, son of an IAS officer, was allegedly killed by the accused Vikas and his cousin Vishal Yadav on the intervening night of February 16-17, 2002. They had allegedly abducted the victim from a marriage function in Ghaziabad. According to the prosecution, the accused had killed Nitish as they did not approve of his alleged relations with their sister Bharati Yadav.




‘The battle is not over’
Sandeep Yadav
Tribune News Service

Neelam Katara, mother of Nitish Katara is seen with her son Nitin at Patiala House Court in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Neelam Katara, mother of Nitish Katara is seen with her son Nitin at Patiala House Court in New Delhi on Wednesday. — Tribune Photo by Manas Ranjan Bhui

New Delhi, May 28
Neelam Katara, mother of Nitish Katara, looked visibly relieved after the judgement in her son’s trial today and said that her faith in the judicial system has been reinforced. “The verdict has proved that the law can take its own course if people have the courage to fight. It is a milestone judgement and will give hope to all Indians.”

Talking to mediapersons in the Patiala House Court premises after the verdict, Neelam, who had been relentlessly fighting for justice for last six years, thanked all the people, even strangers, who had stood by her in her quest for justice. “The media also stood by the truth in a fair and honest manner. I thank them all,” she said.

On being asked how she felt as her six-year battle for justice was coming to a conclusion, Neelam said, “The reality has not sunk in yet. But the battle is not over. I hope the people of India realise that if you fight on, even the high and mighty can be taken to task for doing wrong.” Neelam had through her efforts not only managed to counter the powerful influence of the Yadav family in western UP, but also managed to get the trial shifted to Delhi.

Recalling that the fight has not been easy, she said the huge amount of time she has spent in the courts has made her a lot wiser. She added that one thing that has emerged during the prolonged trial is the lack of proper witness protection programme in the country. “A lot of cases have fallen through because of the reluctance of the witnesses to testify in this country. It would be much easier if state could look for some ways to protect the witnesses,” said Katara.

She also hoped that the punishment that would be meted out on May 30 acts as a deterrent. “Politics and muscle power should not be allowed to let criminal acts go unpunished. The punishment should be able to prevent such crimes.” Although she did not deny a death sentence demand explicitly, Neelam added that although her son Nitish will not return, “I hope no one will lose their loved one like I did.”



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