Verdict in Batla House encounter case on July 25

A city court will pronounce the verdict in the 2008 Batla House encounter case, in which suspected Indian Mujahideen operative Shahzad Ahmad is standing trial, on July 25.

According to the prosecution, a team of Delhi Police Special Cell officers had raided a fourth floor flat in the Batla House neighborhood on September 19, 2008, after reportedly receiving information that suspected IM members, responsible for the 2008 Delhi serial blasts six days prior, were hiding there.

Inspector M C Sharma, who headed the operation, was killed in the encounter along with two suspected terrorists Atif Ahmed and Mohammad Sajjid.

Police had claimed that Shahzad had fled the spot during the encounter.

The prosecution told the court that they had sufficient circumstantial evidence and phone records to prove that Shahzad was present in Batla House and had fired at the police team.

Shahzad's counsel Satish Tamta had told the court that there were discrepancies in the version of the incident narrated by police officers. Further, police had failed to present any public witnesses who could have verified the police version of the raid.

Tamta had also drawn the court's attention to the delay in filing the FIR in the case. The encounter had occurred around 11 am and the FIR was filed at 4 pm, he said.

The defence counsel also said the cartridges and fragmented pieces of bullets recovered in the case matched those of the police firearms.

The encounter had sparked controversy after Congress leader Digvijay Singh alleged that it was a fake encounter and demanded a probe into the case.

The Samajwadi Party too had demanded a judicial probe but, the then Home Minister P Chidambaram asserted that the encounter was genuine and there was no scope to reopen the matter.

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