Batla House Encounter, for which Sonia cried, genuine: Court
New Delhi, July 25: Congress leaders, who had created flutter after commenting on infamous Batla House encounter case, might have received strong message from a Delhi court. Delivering its verdict, the Delhi court on Thursday, July 25 said that the encounter was "genuine".
Earlier Congress leader Salman Khurshid had said that party President Sonia Gandhi had shed tears after watching pictures of the encounter. However, later Khurshid had claimed that he was misquoted.
"I was not a minister at that time but still took the issue of the Batla House encounter to Sonia Gandhi. When we showed photographs of that incident to Mrs Gandhi, she wept bitterly," said Khurshid while attending an election campaign in Uttar Pradesh. [Watch video]
"She asked me to go immediately to the Prime Minister to discuss the matter," added Khurshid. Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh was one among them who had termed the encounter as "fake". Even after the latest court verdict, the Congress leaders claimed that he would maintain his stand on the controversy.
Delhi Court Verdict on Batla House Encounter:
Terming the encounter a genuine one, the Delhi court on Thursday convicted Shahzad Ahmad opening fire at the Delhi Police killing one cop. Ahmad, a resident of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, was the sole arrested person. A suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorist, Ahmad was accused of plotting Sept 13, 2008 serial blasts in Delhi. Total 26 people died and 133 were injured during the serial blasts at Karol Bagh, Connaught Place, Greater Kailash and India Gate.
What is Batla House Encounter Case?
A team of seven police officers had stormed an apartment in Batla House in Sept 2008. It was said that the team had received information saying that four suspected IM terrorists, who were involved in Delhi serial blasts, were present in the apartment. Batla House is situated at Jamianagar area in Delhi.
Two suspected terrorists were shot dead during the raid. While the fourth one had managed to escape, police arrested Shahzad. All four were said to have hailed from Uttar Pradesh.
Mohan Chand Sharma, an encounter specialist and Delhi Police inspector, too was killed during the raid. However, many politicians and activists raised questions regarding Sharma's death. They alleged the encounter was fake and Sharma was shot dead due to "inter-departmental rivalry".
However, a post-mortem report ruled out speculation that Sharma was shot from the back - which would have meant he was not shot by the accused.
Many other raised questions on the genuineness of the encounter as one of the alleged suspects was shot multiple times at close range. The judge earlier had asked why the police inspector, 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. National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in 2009 had said the police had not violated any rights.
Ahmad's lawyer had been arguing that Ahmad was not present in the Batla House when Delhi police entered the house. However, the prosecution had claimed that it had sufficient circumstantial evidence and phone records to prove that Shahzad was indeed present in the Batla House on the fateful day of Sept 13, 2008.