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HindustanTimes Fri,11 Jul 2014

NGOs and locals sure of acquittal

Faizan Haidar and Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 24, 2013
First Published: 22:43 IST(24/7/2013) | Last Updated: 18:17 IST(25/7/2013)

Residents of Jamia Nagar and social organisations, who have been waging a legal battle against what they believe was a ‘fake’ encounter, are confident that Shahzad, the lone accused in the case, would be acquitted.

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A court is set to deliver its verdict in the case against Shahzad, accused of killing special cell officer Mohan Chand Sharma during the 2008 shootout.  

Some Jamia Millia Islamia teachers had formed a group called the Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association (JTSA) after the Batla House encounter. It initially focused on demanding a judicial probe into the incident. However, later, it prepared a fact-finding report on the people arrested by the special cell of Delhi Police and gave details of 16 cases that had fallen flat in court.

“The prosecution case is very weak and we are hoping that Shahzad will be acquitted. There is no evidence against him. The charge of murdering police officer Sharma will fall flat as the police have failed to produce the bullet or the gun that killed Inspector Sharma,” said Manisha Sethi of JTSA.

Several NGOs alleged that the special cell of Delhi Police had a history of framing innocent people in false cases.

“In all of the 16 cases we had scanned, the persons were charged with serious crimes such as waging war against the state or triggering bomb blasts. The police had demanded death and life imprisonment for the accused. But a large number of the accused were acquitted by the court because there was no substance to the prosecution’s case,” said Sethi.

In 2012, the organisation had released a book on the investigations by the special cell. The book talked about the loopholes in the police claims, which led to the acquittal of the accused.


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