Arif Khan, convicted of the murder of Delhi Police Inspector MC Sharma in the Batla House case, was sentenced to death.
Meeting with Batla House
Batla House is a locality in Jamia Nagar in Delhi, where a meeting between Delhi police and suspected terrorists took place on September 19, 2008. The terrorists were believed to be members of the terrorist group, the Indian Mujahedin.
The meeting took place in the week following the 2008 Delhi terrorist attacks that killed 30 people. Explosions had taken place in Karol Bagh, Connaught Place, Greater Kailash and India Gate. Delhi Police received reports of terrorists hiding at L-18 Batla House. A police team raided the encounter.
Two suspected terrorists, identified as Atif Amin and Mohammed Sajid, were killed during the meeting with Batla House.
Delhi Police Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma was shot during the encounter and died. Three suspected agents identified as Ariz Khan, Shahzad and Junaid escaped. An MI agent, Mohammad Saif, surrendered to the police.
Batla House: investigation and conviction
Police have launched a manhunt for escaped terrorists. In January 2010, Shahzad was arrested in Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh. Three months later, in April 2010, police filed an indictment stating that the encounter took place as Delhi police followed suit in the serial explosions case.
Years later, in 2018, Ariz Khan was arrested in Banbasa on the Indo-Nepal border. The third terrorist to escape Junaid has been convicted.
Delhi police filed another complaint in February 2011 against Shahzad. He was found guilty of the murder of Mohan Chand Sharma and sentenced to life imprisonment in 2013 by the lower court.
Earlier this month, a Delhi court found Ariz Khan guilty in the Batla House case for the murder of Inspector Sharma. Police also suspected Ariz Khan of being the mastermind of the 2008 Delhi serial explosions
The Batla House Dating Policy
The Batla House encounter was one of the terrorism-related cases that sparked a huge political storm, especially during the 2009 elections in Lok Sabha. He divided public opinion sharply, with politicians continuing to make controversial remarks.
The BJP and Congress have traded fees. The BJP was part of the opposition at the time, and Congress led the UPA government at the Center in 2008. The BJP accused Congress of being gentle with terror to appease the minority community.
Chief Congressman Salman Khurshid sparked a political row when he said Congress leader Sonia Gandhi cried after watching footage of the meeting. The BJP subsequently intensified its attack on the party.
Digvijaya Singh, another top congressional leader, called the Batla House meeting “bogus.” Union Interior Minister P Chidambaram strongly refuted this claim, calling it a real encounter between Delhi police and hidden terrorists.
Digvijaya Singh had traveled to Azamgarh to meet with family members of those arrested in connection with the Batla House encounter case. While the BJP used Digvijaya Singh’s visit to the homes of the terrorist accused to attack Congress, the latter left it to the veteran leader to explain his remarks and the Azamgarh meetings.