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Batla encounter: NHRC sets deadline for police

Amidst growing demands from Muslim leaders, civil rights activists and some political parties for a thorough judicial probe into the Batla House encounter.

delhi Updated: Oct 20, 2008 23:59 IST
Satya Prakash

Amidst growing demands from Muslim leaders, civil rights activists and some political parties for a thorough judicial probe into the Batla House encounter, the National Human Rights Commission on Monday directed Delhi Police Commissioner Y.S Dadwal to submit a "complete report" on the controversial incident latest by October 31.

The Commission asked Dadwal to furnish the post-mortem reports of suspected terrorists Mohd.Atif and Mohd. Sajid, and Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma who were killed in the September 19 encounter. It has also asked the police chief to submit the inquest reports.

Acting on a complaint filed by one Kamran Siddiqui of NGO Real Cause, the NHRC had on September 23 issued a notice to the police commissioner, seeking his reply within two weeks.

On receiving a complaint from Shri Kamran Siddiqui about the incident which took place at L-18 Batla House, Jamia Nagar, Delhi on September 19, the Commission, vide proceedings dated September 23 directed the commissioner of police to take appropriate action as per guidelines laid down by the Commission and to submit a report in two weeks.

The Commission decided to send a "reminder" after Dadwal failed to meet the deadline and the complainant sent another communication, alleging that a team of Special Cell of Delhi Police on October 13 visited L-18 Batla House, where the encounter took place. Siddiqui alleged that the police team came with 2-3 bags and stayed at L-18 Batla House for two hours.

The rights body sought to know if a magisterial inquiry had been ordered, if so, what was its status. It asked the commissioner to furnish details as to whether a criminal case regarding the incident has been registered, and if so, the status of the investigation and whether the team of Special Cell visited L-18 Batla House on October 13, and if so, the purpose of visit.

The NHRC said an intimation dated September 21 was received from the SHO, Jamia Nagar, on October 13 regarding the incident.

Earlier, a day after the Delhi Police termed the "fake encounter" allegations as baseless and claimed that the NHRC was "satisfied" with it, the rights body had on October 16 said it was waiting for the report and would take a view after receiving it.

In its report submitted to the Delhi High Court on October 15, Joint Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Karnail Singh had slammed the report by a fact-finding team of activists, which termed the encounter as "fake".

"The so-called fact finding reports have no veracity and bearing as whenever any death by encounter takes place, the report is sent to the NHRC," the police had said, adding the NHRC's refusal to recommend any action against police officers in the encounter was testimony to the fact that the commission was "satisfied".

Later, the Delhi Police had claimed the said statement related to Millennium Park encounter on August 30, 2003, and Humayun Tomb's encounter on June 9, 2002, which were raised in the petition filed in the High Court.