iconimg Thursday, September 03, 2015

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, July 26, 2013
Delivering the verdict in the killing of inspector Mohan Chand Sharma during the 2008 Batla House encounter, the judge wondered why the slain police officer had not gone prepared for the shootout.

Sharma, a decorated special cell officer, was not wearing a bulletproof vest and fell to the bullets of the alleged IM terrorists.

Additional Sessions Judge Rajender Kumar Shastri wondered if not being properly equipped was merely a “misadventure or lack of professionalism” on the part of Delhi Police or shortage of weapons with the force.

“It agitates my mind that the incident in question was not a sudden confrontation between police and the assailants. The police acted on information, receiving which a raiding party was formed. Despite this, inspector MC Sharma did not wear any body protection i.e. bullet-proof jacket,” the judge said.

“Moreover, at least two members of the raiding party had no weapons with them despite knowing that they may face fire,” the court said.

“Whatsoever it may be, it did not give any licence to the occupants of the flat to fire at police who came there to investigate a case, merely because they were unarmed or not wearing any bullet-proof jacket. They were expected to assist the police and not to attack them,” the judge said.