This Article is From Jul 25, 2013

Batla House encounter verdict today: ten facts of the case

Batla House encounter verdict today: ten facts of the case
New Delhi: A Delhi court will decide today on whether Shahzad Ahmad, a young man from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, opened fire at a police team to kill Delhi Police Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma in what is called the Batla House encounter, five years ago. The police alleges that Shazad is an Indian Mujahideen operative, and one of four men respsonsible for serial blasts in Delhi in 2008. Here are 10 developments:

Here are 10 facts in the case:

  1. In September 2008, seven officers of the Delhi Police stormed an apartment building in Batla House in Delhi's Jamia Nagar. They later alleged that terrorists from the Indian Mujahideen were holed up here.

  2. Two suspected terrorists were shot dead. Shahzad was arrested and a fourth managed to escape. They all belonged to the Azamgarh area of Uttar Pradesh.

  3. The encounter at Batla House occurred days after serial blasts in Delhi in which more than 26 people were killed and over 100 injured. The police said that it had information that the men hiding at the Batla House flat were involved in that terror attack.

  4. Encounter specialist and Delhi Police inspector Mohan Chand Sharma was killed, but various politicians and activists alleged the encounter was fake and Sharma was shot dead due to "inter-departmental rivalry". But a post-mortem ruled out speculation that Sharma was shot from the back - which would have meant he was not shot by the accused.

  5. Questions were also raised as one of the alleged suspects was shot multiple times at close range. The judge asked why the cop, Sharma, was not wearing a bulletproof jacket while facing men believed to be deadly terrorists. Counsel for the accused also cited ballistic reports to show that the bullets found in the officer's body did not match the gun seized from Shahzad.  

  6. In 2009, the National Human Rights Commission said the police had not violated any rights.

  7. Today's verdict is based on Shahzad Ahmed, who was arrested from the Batla House flat. His lawyer alleges he was not in the apartment at the time of the encounter and has been framed by the Delhi Police.

  8. After the encounter, teams of the Delhi Police were deployed for raids in Azamgarh, provoking protests from locals and leaders of the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

  9. Congress leader Digvijaya Singh described the encounter as fake, but his party distanced itself from his remarks. Then Home Minister P. Chidambaram asserted that the encounter was genuine.

  10. While campaigning in Azamgarh during the Uttar Pradesh elections last year, senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid had said party chief Sonia Gandhi "cried" when she was shown photographs of the Batla House encounter. After political whiplash, Mr Khurshid said that he had been misquoted.

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