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Journalist's father dies two weeks after her killers get life sentence

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Journalist's father dies two weeks after her killers get life sentence
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PTC News Desk: Journalist Soumya Vishwanathan's father passed away on Saturday, two weeks after a Delhi court sentenced four men to life in prison in her decade-old murder case.

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MK Vishwanathan, 82, died just one day after his daughter's 41st birthday.

Vishwanathan stayed up late on September 30, 2008, because Soumya, a news producer with Headlines Today at the time, was being held up at work. His calls were not returned. They had no idea the journey back home would be her last.

Soumya left her Jhandewalan office shortly after 3 a.m., driving alone to her home in Vasant Kunj, Delhi. According to police, she overtook a car on her way. Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla, Baljeet Malik, and Ajay Kumar were in the car, and they were convicted in the case.

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When the convicts noticed they had been overtaken by a woman driver, they sped up and attempted to catch up with her. Soumya kept going. One of them quickly drew his countrymade gun and fired at her.

She was shot in the head and died on the spot. Her car collided with a divider. According to an officer, the killers fled the scene but returned 20 minutes later to check on her before fleeing again when they saw the cops.

Vishwanathan's life changed in an instant. His routine for the next 15 years included following up on the case and visiting the police station. Last month, justice was served as a result of the legal battle.

Ravi, Amit, Baljeet, and Ajay were found guilty on October 18 and sentenced to life in prison on November 25. Ajay Sethi, a fifth convict, was sentenced to three years in prison for his assistance. The court ruled that the crime was not the rarest of rare, ruling out the death penalty.

Madhavi Vishwanathan, Soumya's mother, said she was "satisfied" but not "happy" with the verdict.

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