The timing of the two gunmen who targeted a Taiwanese tourist group outside Gate No 3 of Jama Masjid was precisely the same time as that of Batla House encounter two years ago. Though police denied it was a terror attack, they said that policemen were the target.
On September 19, 2008 two alleged terrorists — Atif Ameen and Mohammad Sajid - of Indian Mujahideen (IM), a homegrown terror outfit, were killed in an encounter with a Special Cell team at a flat in Batla House, in southeast Delhi. Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma was also killed in the exchange of fire.
A team led by Sharma had stormed the flat on a specific tip off that the men involved in serial bomb blasts in Delhi a week ago (September 13) were hiding there. After the encounter, 26 members of IM — all young men had been arrested.
On Sunday, the two bikers opened fire on the Taiwanese group around 11.23 am, the same time and date, when the encounter took place two years ago. “This seems to be some sort of mischief to coincide it with the Batla House encounter. The manner in which it was done was amateurish,” said a senior police officer.
Almost two hours after the incident, BBC Hindi received an e-mail from IM claiming responsibility for the attack. The mail read "we dedicate this attack of retribution to martyrs - Atif Ameen and Mohamad Sajid - who proudly laid down their lives valiantly fighting Delhi Police on this day."
However, the police said that the mail did not bear the signature style of IM.
"It was sent two hours after the incident. In earlier instance, they sent it minutes before any attack. It is also factually incorrect," said Rajan Bhagat, police spokesman. Police said they were tracing the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the e-mail.