The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday backed the Delhi Police’s role in the killing of two alleged terrorists involved in the September 13, 2008, serial blasts in the capital in an encounter at Batla House in south Delhi.
In its report submitted in the Delhi High Court, the commission also said that slain Special Cell officer MC Sharma was shot by militants at Batla House in Jamia Nagar on September 19, 2008 — and not fired at from behind by “mysterious persons”.
The NHRC did not say if the two killed youth — Atif Ameen and Mohammad Sajid — were indeed Indian Mujahideen terrorists, as claimed by the police. “This is a question to be decided by a court,” it said.
The encounter took place after a police team went to Flat L-18 at Batla House with the information that the terrorists responsible for the Delhi serial blasts of a week earlier were hiding there.
Two suspected terrorists (Ameen and Sajid) were killed, one was caught and two others managed to escape.
“From the material placed before us, it is clear that the police party clearly acted in right of self-defence and such action is protected by law,” said the NHRC report.
“It cannot be said there was any violation of human rights.”
Karnal Singh, joint commissioner (northern range), said, “Our team had fired in self-defence and we lost one of our best police officers (Sharma) in the encounter.”
A high court bench headed by Chief Justice AP Shah is hearing a petition filed by NGOs and civil rights activists seeking a judicial enquiry into the encounter. The petition says the police version of events is “riddled with contradictions” and Sharma was not killed by militants but was a victim of police rivalry.
After the shootout, several politicians — including SP leader Amar Singh and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee — had addressed rallies in the Jamia Nagar area to appease the minority community.