Batla House: Shahzad gets life imprisonment

Last Updated: Tue, Jul 30, 2013 18:03 hrs

New Delhi, July 30 (IBNS) A Delhi court on Tuesday sentenced alleged Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Shahzad Ahmed to life imprisonment in the 2008 Batla House encounter.

The court on Monday deferred till Tuesday the pronouncement of the sentencing of Shahzad, who was convicted for murdering encounter specialist Mohan Chand Sharma during the Batla House encounter in 2008.

The prosecution had sought death sentence for Shahzad.

On July 25, the court convicted Shahzad and ruled that the encounter was genuine.

The police and defence concluded their arguments on July 20 after which Additional Sessions Judge Rajender Kumar Shastri had reserved the verdict.

During the trial 70 prosecution witnesses and two defence witnesses were examined.

Batla House encounter, officially known as Operation Batla House, took place on Sept 19, 2008, against suspected IM terrorists in Batla House locality in Jamia Nagar, Delhi, in which two suspected terrorists, Atif Amin and Mohamed Sajid were killed while two other suspects Mohd Saif and Zeeshan were arrested, while one accused Ariz Khan managed to escape.

Encounter specialist and Delhi Police inspector Mohan Chand Sharma, who led the police action was also killed during the incident.

The encounter led to arrest of a number of local people, leading to widespread allegations and protests by political parties, civil society groups, activists, especially teachers and students of the Jamia Millia Islamia University.

Several political organizations like the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) demanded a judicial inquiry into the encounter, in the Parliament, as "new versions" of the encounter, started appearing the newspapers.

The incident took place a week after five serial blasts on Sept 13 2008 that hit Delhi in which at least 30 people were killed and over 100 injured.

The police had filed the chargesheet against Shahzad, Ariz Khan (absconding), Atif Ameen and Mohammed Sajid on Apr 28, 2010, accusing them of killing Sharma on Sept 19, 2008.

On Feb 15, 2011, Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar framed charges against accused Shahzad Ahmed alias Pappu for the offences of murder (Section 302), attempt to murder (Section 307), section 333 (causing hurt to public servant), 353 (assault to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of his public functions) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code, besides section 27 of the Arms Act for his role in the ´encounter´.

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