Batla House encounter – as it happened on Sept 19, 2008
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The national capital Delhi was rocked by serial blasts on September 13, 2008. The first bomb exploded at 18:07 pm, and four other blasts followed in succession. At least 30 people killed and over 100 injured.
A week after the blast – on September 19 – a Delhi Police Special Cell team led by Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma, reached Batla House area in Jamia Nagar in south-east Delhi.
Based on intelligence inputs and local information, Sharma and his team suspected that the perpetrators of the blasts, Indian Mujahedeen terrorists, were holed up in a four-storied house (L-18) in Batla House.
By 9.30 am they had secured the entire area and at around 10.30 am the police party stormed the house.
There was heavy exchange of fire, in which two terrorists were killed; one was arrested, while two others escaped.
Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma, who led from the front, suffered bullet wounds and died while being taken to the hospital.
Those killed were later identified as Atif alias Bashir and Fakruddin, alias Sajed, both from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh.
Mohd Saif surrendered while two other terrorists Ariz Khan and Shehzad Ahmed managed to flee from the spot.
Two days after the encounter, Delhi Police arrested three alleged terrorists from the same locality (Jamia Nagar).
They told the police that one of the two killed, Atif Ameen, was a top IM operative and had planned more bomb blast in the capital’s Nehru Place in the days to come.
The three- Zia-ur-Rehman, Mohammad Shakeel and Sakeeb Nasir made their confession before Delhi Police chief YS Dadhwal and admitted to their involvement in Delhi’s serial blasts and in July 26 Ahmedabad blasts.
Abdul Rehman, the caretaker of the house, where the encounter had taken place was also arrested for having allegedly forging tenant verification documents and falsely claiming that those had been submitted to the police.
The police claimed that out of the 13 people suspected to be involved in Delhi blasts, five were arrested and two were killed in the September 19 encounter.
The force also lunched a manhunt for the other six who are still at large.
Later on several questions were raised on the claims made by Delhi Police regarding Operation Batla House.
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