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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Batla encounter: court express displeasure on counsel's absence

PTI  New Delhi, July 08, 2013
First Published: 20:19 IST(8/7/2013) | Last Updated: 20:20 IST(8/7/2013)

A Delhi court on Monday expressed displeasure over non appearance of the counsel for accused in the 2008 Batla House encounter case in which lone suspected Indian Mujahideen operative Shahzad Ahmad is facing trial.

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"If the counsel do not appear, I may fix for judgement. The defence can give their submission in written," additional sessions judge Rajender Kumar Shastri said while deferring the matter for Tuesday after the counsel for the accused informed that his senior will not be able to come as he is busy in some other case.

The court, however, said that the counsel should have come because the date for final arguments was fixed for today as per their convenience.

The court was supposed to hear final arguments on behalf of the counsel for Shahzad, after prosecution completed its submission on July 2.

During the final arguments, police had said Shahzad, along with another accused Junaid, had jumped off the balcony and fled after firing at the police party during the September 19 Batla House encounter.

The police rebutted Shahzad's claim that neither was he present in the flat with other associates nor had he fired at the raiding party and also that he was kidnapped from his village Khalispur in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh.

It said that the police personnel who were members of the raiding party have identified Shahzad as one of the occupants of the flat who fired at the raiding team and then escaped with another associate.

Shazad 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.

Shahzad had in his statement denied he was in the flat in Batla House with other associates or had fired at the raiding party including inspector MC Sharma.

Mohd Saif and Zeeshan, both accused in the 2008 serial blasts case, were cited as defence witness by Shahzad. Mohd Saif, who was also present at the flat and is said to have surrendered, claimed that they were they were arrested at gunpoint by police personnel and denied that any encounter had taken place.

According to the charge sheet, Mohd Saif was also present in the flat in which the encounter took place on September 19, 2008 between officers of the Special Cell of Delhi Police and the alleged Indian Mujahideen terrorists.

The police team is said to have reached the flat during its probe in the 2008 Delhi serial blasts where a series of explosions at Karol Bagh, Connaught Place, Greater Kailash and India Gate left 26 dead and 133 injured.

Shahzad had allegedly escaped from the flat in Jamia Nagar during the encounter. The charge sheet says Mohd Saif had surrendered peacefully and had disclosed the names of the escapees as Shahzad and Junaid. While Shahzad was arrested later, Junaid was declared a proclaimed offender.

Other accused named in the charge sheet are Mohd Atif Ameen alias Bashir and Mohd Sajid. Both of them were shot dead in the encounter.


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