Death sought for Batla House convict, verdict on Tuesday
New Delhi: The prosecution has sought death penalty for the lone convict and Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Shahzad Ahmad in the 2008 Batla House shootout case, saying it was a "rarest of rare case". The final verdict by a Delhi court will come Tuesday.
The plea to hang Ahmad was made Monday before Additional Sessions Judge Rajender Kumar Shastri, who convicted the man from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh for killing Delhi Police Special Cell Inspector MC Sharma during the shootout.
"Come for verdict tomorrow (Tuesday) at 2 pm," the court said.
The prosecution, while seeking death penalty for Ahmad, said: "This case falls in the rarest of rare category. I request the court to give maximum punishment, that is death."
"For the interest of society, the interest of the victim's family, I pray to court that the convict be given death," prosecution said.
Counsel Satish Tamta, appearing for Ahmad, urged the court to take a "lenient" view as the case did not fall in the category of "organised crime".
"The case doesn't fall in the organised crime category, the incident happened on the spur of the moment. It was not against the women, children or helpless people. I request the court to take a lenient view. Don't treat it as a rarest of rare case," the counsel said, adding that a chance be given to Ahmad to "reform" himself.
Ahmad was said to be present in the flat in Jamia Nagar in south Delhi where the shootout took place.
The court July 25 held Ahmad guilty of assaulting police officials and obstructing them from doing their duty.
He was convicted of offences that included murder and attempt to murder which carry a death penalty as the maximum sentence.
The Sep 19, 2008, exchange of fire took place between a seven-member Delhi Police Special Cell team, led by Inspector Sharma, and suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorists allegedly involved in the Sep 13, 2008, serial blasts in Delhi.
The bomb blasts took place in Karol Bagh, Connaught Place, Greater Kailash and the vicinity of India Gate, leaving over 26 people killed and over 133 injured.
The raiding police team had received specific information that a suspected person wanted in connection with the five serial bomb blasts was hiding at L-18 flat in the four-storeyed building in Jamia Nagar.
The police team's attempts to storm the flat around 10.30 am resulted in exchange of fire. The holed-up terrorists' bullets hit Sharma, who subsequently died.
Of the five, who were residing in the flat, Atif Ameen and Mohd. Sajid were killed during the shootout, Ariz Khan alias Junaid escaped and was declared a proclaimed offender, while Mohd Saif was not made an accused in this case as, according to the prosecution, he had surrendered peacefully and had not played any part in the entire incident.
The police filed the charge sheet against Ahmad April 28, 2010.
The prosecution examined around 70 witnesses, including six eye-witnesses who were part of the police raid team.