NEW DELHI (TIP): A Delhi court on June 25 ruled that the 2008 Batla House encounter was genuine and pronounced Shahzad Ahmad, the lone suspect arrested in the case, guilty of murdering inspector Mohan Chand Sharma. Additional sessions judge Rajender Kumar Shastri pronounced Shahzad guilty of criminal conspiracy, attempt to murder of other police officials who were part of the raiding team, firing at the police team and of obstructing public servants from discharging their duty.
The court will pronounce Shahzad’s punishment on July 29. On September 19, 2008, an encounter took place at L-18 Batla House in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar between a raiding team of Delhi police special cell and suspected IM operatives. Six days before the encounter, serial bomb blasts had rocked Delhi, killing 26 and injuring 133. The police had reached Batla House on a tip-off that some suspected militants involved in the blasts were holed up there.
During the face-off, two of the occupants, Atif Ameen and Mohammed Sajid, were killed, while Mohammed Saif surrendered. Shahzad and another accused, Junaid, now a proclaimed offender, escaped. While Shahzad was arrested on January 1, 2010, Junaid is still at large. Sharma, a decorated police officer, lost his life in the crossfire. While convicting Shahzad, the court relied mainly on testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, including six eyewitnesses who were a part of the police raiding team, the circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution, the ballistic report that said the bullets were first fired at the police, and MC Sharma’s postmortem report.