Batla House: No need for tears, ‘yeh encounter farzi nahi tha’
New Delhi, Mar 09: A big debate was put to rest when a Delhi court convicted Indian Mujahideen terrorist, Ariz Khan in connection with the 2008 Batla House encounter.
In 2008, there were doubts raised by a section of people about the encounter. There were reports that suggested that Congress leader Sonia Gandhi had cried after she heard about the encounter by the Delhi Police.
The argument by the Defence was that the police resorted to firing first. It was alleged that the police had fired first at Indian Mujahideen operative, Atif Ameen and Mohammad Sajid.
The argument was countered by the prosecution, which said had the police fired first, then both persons would have fallen down immediately after being injured and would have been in no position to fire at the police.
Investigations had found that the two terrorists inside the house had fired first and it was the cops who returned fire.
The prosecution further went on to argue that the police only returned fire after Sharma and another police personnel, Balwant Singh were first hit by bullets. The police even went to ask why would they stage a fake encounter to kill their own officer.
An inquiry too had been conducted by the National Human Rights Commission and a clean chit was given to the Delhi police. The same was even accepted by the Supreme Court of India.
In this context one would need to visit the interrogation report of Ariz Khan, a top operative of the Indian Mujahideen. He told the police that he had taken shelter at the Batla House along with his accomplices. He said that they were taking shelter and their plan was to move out of there and carry out attacks elsewhere. However the police landed at the spot, Khan also said.
It was after the Delhi blasts that all of us took shelter there and were waiting for the heat to come down. Further he said that it was his accomplice Atif Ameen, who started firing, when the cops reached the spot. The cops returned the fire and this broke out into an encounter.
We did not know who the officer who was killed at that time, Khan said while adding that the encounter hurt them badly. Their top leadership was missing as most of the founding members had fled the country. Khan however managed to escape from the spot and was arrested only in February 2018.
The case had created a lot of ripples and a controversy had broken out when former union minister, Salman Khurshid had said that Sonia Gandhi had cried bitterly after seeing images of the Batla House encounter.
On September 19 2008, based on very credible evidence, the Delhi police learnt that terrorists of the IM were holed up at the Batla House locality. A special team reached the spot to capture them, but then they were fired at first, following which the encounter broke out.