The family of slain inspector Mohan Chand Sharma said Thursday’s verdict was only the first step and they still have a long battle to wage.
A Delhi court on Thursday convicted IM operative Shahzad of killing inspector Sharma, an Ashok Chakra awardee, during the Batla House encounter on September 19, 2008.
Incommunicado for several days in the run-up to the verdict, the slain inspector’s five-member family chose to remain indoors for most of the day on Thursday and emerged out of their Dwarka residence for a few minutes only after the verdict was delivered.
“We are relieved at the verdict but a long battle still lies ahead,” said Maya Sharma, Inspector Sharma’s wife.
“Shahzad was among the men who killed my husband and should be given the strictest punishment. But there are still others who were responsible for his death and they are yet to be caught,” she said.
The parents of Sharma concurred with their daughter-in-law. Sharma had won seven gallantry medals, including a President’s Medal.
“The last five years have been very difficult. The only person who took care of us is absent. I don’t know whether the encounter was real or fake. All I know is that I lost my son who cannot return,” said Devinder Devi, 76, his mother. Sharma’s father, Narottam, said the family was still waiting for the final judgment in the case.
“We did not get any monetary assistance from the state or the police all these years. But now, if there is any financial help, we would want it to be diverted for the relief of Uttarakhand flood victims,” Devinder added.
Maya hoped ‘petty politicking’ on her husband’s death would now cease. “I just hope this judgment doesn’t become another trigger for politicking like the incident itself has been for the last five years,” she said.