Suspected Indian Mujahideen operative Shahzad Ahmad facing trial in the 2008 Batla House encounter case on Friday claimed before a Delhi court that he was not present in the flat in which the alleged shootout took place. The counsel for accused Shahzad, in his final arguments before Additional Sessions Judge Rajender Kumar Shastri, said the prosecution witness and also the eye witness in the case are deposing falsely against his client.
The counsel also rejected police claim that Shahzad had jumped off the balcony and fled after firing at the police party in which one Delhi police inspector MC Sharma was killed during the September 19 Batla House encounter in Delhi. One of the prosecution witnesses in the case has deposed that while the firing was going on, he was standing at the main gate of the flat and one of the occupants of the house was lying near the door after he got bullet injuries.
"How is it possible that accused Shahzad fled away from the spot as there was only one exist," the defence counsel said. The counsel also said that the alleged recovery of the passport from the spot is incorrect, as it is in possession of the other investigating officer who was probing the 2008 blast case in Delhi. "Why is that an article recovered from one place (Batla house flat) was seized by another investigating officer," the counsel said.
The final arguments on behalf of the counsel for Shahzad, will continue on July 15. The prosecution had completed its submission on July 2. Shahzad is said to be one of the occupants of the flat in Jamia Nagar where the encounter took place on September 19, 2008 between officers of the Special Cell of Delhi Police and the alleged IM terrorists said to be involved in the September 13, 2008 serial blasts.
Shahzad had in his statement denied he was in the flat in Batla House with other associates or had fired at the raiding party including inspector MC Sharma. During the submission, Shahzad's counsel also informed the court that as per the seized article in the case, the police had recover one AK-47 from the spot. "Were the alleged terrorists fools that they used 0.30 bore pistol during the firing, instead of AK-47 lying in their room," Shahzad cousel contended.
Earlier, police had rebutted Shahzad's claim that neither was he present in the flat with other associates nor had he fired at the raiding party and also that he was kidnapped from his village Khalispur in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh. It had said that the police personnel who were members of the raiding party have identified Shahzad as one of the occupants of the flat who fired at the raiding team and then escaped with another associate.
According to the charge sheet, Mohd Saif was also present in the flat in which the encounter took place on September 19, 2008 between officers of the Special Cell of Delhi Police and the alleged Indian Mujahideen terrorists. The police team is said to have reached the flat during its probe in the 2008 Delhi serial blasts where a series of explosions at Karol Bagh, Connaught Place, Greater Kailash and India Gate left 26 dead and 133 injured.
Shahzad had allegedly escaped from the flat in Jamia Nagar during the encounter. The charge sheet says Mohd Saif had surrendered peacefully and had disclosed the names of the escapees as Shahzad and Junaid. While Shahzad was arrested later, Junaid was declared a proclaimed offender. Other accused named in the charge sheet are Mohd Atif Ameen alias Bashir and Mohd Sajid. Both of them were shot dead in the encounter.