Batla House encounter was not fake says IM operative
Ariz Khan of the Indian Mujahideen was a major catch for the security agencies. Amidst a wide spread debate about the Battle House encounter, Khan has told security agencies that the operation was not a fake one.
He told the NIA that his accomplice Atif Ameen tried to escape but was caught by Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma. Atif grabbed the gun from Sharma and began firing. Sharma passed away in the encounter and was awarded the Ashok Chakra posthumously.
Ariz also confessed that it was the IM operatives who began firing first following which the police returned fire. He said that the first attempt by the police was to arrest them.
Khan also said that they had planned on targeting various important and prominent places such as Delhi by carrying out serial blasts. The NIA had filed a case in this regard in 2012 against the members of the Indian Mujahideen for waging war against the country.
The NIA further learnt that the blasts were carried with the support of homegrown terror modules as well as support from Pakistan. Khan alias Junaid aged 32 had played a key role in the conspiracy. He was involved in almost all major blasts that ripped the country between 2005 and 2008. The NIA says that Junaid was involved in the serial blasts at Delhi (2005), Varanasi (2006), Uttar Pradesh (2007), Jaipur (2008) and Delhi again in 2008. He was charged by the NIA on September 2014.
Further, the NIA has also learnt that he was part of the Batla House encounter. He was present with four others and had managed to give the police the slip on September 19, 2008. Following the incident, he along with his accomplice, Shahzad had visited their relatives. They moved from Delhi to UP and from there to Rajasthan and later Maharashtra.
After being denied help, they slipped into Nepal. In Nepal, Khan alias Junaid obtained a passport and citizenship under the name of Salman Khan. He then began teaching at a school along with another mastermind Abdul Subhan. He stayed in Nepal till 2014 until he came in contact with IM co-founder, Riyaz Bhatkal. He then moved to Saudi Arabia and was tasked with raising money for the revival of the outfit.
He then returned to India and got in touch with the members of the group. He was attempting to revive the outfit with the help of Subhan who was arrested recently.
However, when he was scheduled to meet a contact in Uttar Pradesh, he was nabbed. He has been remanded in NIA custody until the 24th of April.