By TCN News,
New Delhi: Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association (JTSA) will soon release a report on the anniversary of Batla House Encounter detailing cases where people falsely accused of terrorism were later found to be innocent and acquitted by the courts.
Batla House encounter on Sept 19, 2008 was widely believed to be a fake encounter where officers of Delhi Police Special Cell targeted L-18 flat in Batla House area of Jamia Nagar, a Muslim area of New Delhi. 2 youths who were residents of that flat and one police inspector was killed in that encounter.
JTSA was one of the organizations that asked tough questions poking holes at police claims regarding this encounter.
The report titled Framed, Damned, Acquitted: Dossiers of a Very Special Cell, documents 16 cases in which those accused of being operatives of various terrorist organizations (Al Badr, HUJI, Lashkar), arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police, were acquitted by the courts.
The report is a solid 200 page document relying solely on the court judgements to bring out the pattern in which the special cell operates.
Manisha Sethi of JTSA told TCN that “we are hoping that it would help strengthen the demand for compensation of those wrongfully incarcerated and punishment for guilty policemen.”
Purchase a copy of the report
Framed, Damed, Acquitted documents 16 cases in which those accused of being operatives of various terrorist organizations (Al Badr, HUJI, Lashkar), arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police, were acquitted by the courts. Not simply for want of evidence, but because the evidence was tampered with, and the police story was found to be unreliable and incredulous.
It is when you place all the cases side by side that you notice the remarkable similarities.
1) Secret information, which can never be verified or disclosed, leads to the accused.
2) Public and independent witnesses are rarely joined in the operation.
3) Private vehicles are used in the operation – so their logs can never be verified to check if the operation did really take place.
4) Seizure memos are often made in the PS / Special Cell office, and not at the supposed time of seizure, often in the same handwriting and ink as the FIR
5) Senior officers are protected from appearing before the court by not making them witnesses
6) The nexus between Special Cell, central intelligence agencies and police force of conflict zones, especially Jammu and Kashmir, but also Manipur.
In drawing out these cases, we have relied entirely on court judgements. In many cases, courts have clearly indicted the Special Cell for setting up innocents; reprimanding them for violating due process and concocting evidence, ordering a CBI probe against the Special Cell, as well as directing the filing of FIR and initiation of departmental enquiries. And yet, not a single officer in any of the operations described here has suffered for framing innocents. Adverse observations, strictures and censures from the court have not come in the way of promotions, gallantry awards and President’s medals.
Even though these men – whose cases we document here – were acquitted, the process itself, first of illegal detention and torture, then of incarceration and trial, exacted a heavy toll. There has been no rehabilitation, or even an apology offered.
JTSA hopes that this document will provoke a debate about the utility of these elite forces, which in the name of fighting terrorism, have been granted a blanket impunity.