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HindustanTimes Thu,10 Jul 2014

Batla encounter verdict on July 25

PTI  New Delhi, July 20, 2013
First Published: 22:22 IST(20/7/2013) | Last Updated: 22:25 IST(20/7/2013)
A Delhi court will pronounce on July 25 its verdict in the controversial 2008 Batla House encounter case, in which the lone suspected Indian Mujahideen operative Shahzad Ahmad has been facing trial.

 
"Come for order on 25th of this month," additional sessions judge Rajender Kumar Shastri said, after conclusion of final arguments by the prosecution and the defence.
 
In its final arguments, the prosecution had contended that it has sufficient circumstantial evidence and phone records to prove that accused Shahzad was present in the Jamia Nagar flat in Batla House and was among those who fired at the police party leading to the death of inspector MC Sharma.
 
It had said that Shahzad, along with another accused Junaid, had jumped off the balcony and fled after firing at the police party during the September 19, 2008 Batla House encounter.
 
The counsel appearing for Shahzad, however, had claimed that he was not present in the flat in which the alleged shootout took place.
 
The defence had also claimed that as per ballistic reports the bullets found in the slain police officer's body matched the gun seized from the spot and not from the weapon which was retrived from his possession when he was arrested.
 
It was also contended on his behalf that none of the witnesses in the case have given any description of the occupants of the flat in which the alleged shootout took place.
 
Shahzad is said to be one of the occupants of the flat in Jamia Nagar where the encounter took place on September 19, 2008 between officers of the Special Cell of Delhi Police and the alleged IM terrorists said to be involved in the September 13, 2008 serial blasts at Karol Bagh, Connaught Place, Greater Kailash and India Gate left 26 dead and 133 injured.
 
Other accused named in the charge sheet are Mohd Saif, Mohd Atif Ameen alias Bashir and Mohd Sajid. While Saif had surrendered, the other two had been shot dead in the encounter.
 
The shootout had sparked a controversy with Congress leader Digvijaya Singh claiming that it was fake, but his party swifty distanced itself from his remarks.
 
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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