By TwoCircles.net staff reporter
New Delhi: Now that Arvind Kejriwal has called off his dharna and declared victory over Delhi Police, an RTI activist Afroz Alam Sahil has asked him to order enquiry into infamous Batla House Encounter case.
Batla House encounter took place in a Muslim locality of New Delhi in which two Muslim youth and a police officer was killed. There has not been any judicial probe into the encounter which many believe to be fake.
Afroz Alam Sahil used RTI to get post-mortem report that poked holes in Delhi Police’s version of the encounter.
Sahil, who is the chairman of Insaan International Foundation has written to Arvind Kejriwal as Delhi Chief Minister and Najeeb Jung as Lt. Governor requesting probe into the controversial encounter.
In the letter Sahil says Kejriwal on many occasions has stated publicly that Batla House Encounter was fake and there should be an impartial enquiry. “Now, as the chief minister of Delhi, you are now in a position to order an enquiry into the matter to find out the truth behind this controversial encounter,” wrote Sahil.
Stating that “Batla House Encounter has done irreparable damage to the psyche of the Muslims in country. Incidents like Batla House have created a sense of alienation and paranoid among Muslim youth,” Sahil asked Kejriwal that “the probe can give solace, and closure to the soul of inspector MC Sharma and his family,” as they have the right to know the truth too.
Below is the text of the letter sent to Chief Minister and Lt. Governor of Delhi by INSAAN International Foundation. Similar letter was also sent to Prime Minister of India and President of India.
Mr. Arvind Kejriwal
(Hon’ble Chief Minister)
Sub: Demand for an independent judicial inquiry into the Batla House ‘Encounter’
As a citizen of this country, you have been at the forefront of many campaigns for justice and transparency, and have successfully taken those issues to its logical conclusion. We, as a citizen of this country, would like to remind you of another important issue, the police shootout at Batla House in 2008, which needs your immediate attention.
I would like to remind you that I have met you many times on this issue before you became chief minister of the state. On those occasions, and also publicly, you had agreed that the said encounter is fake and there should be an impartial enquiry.
Now, as the chief minister of Delhi, you are now in a position to order an enquiry into the matter to find out the truth behind this controversial encounter.
The detail of the said case goes like this. On September 19, 2008, two young men were killed, in what came to be known as Batla House encounter. It was alleged that they had executed the 2008 Delhi serial blasts and were planning a 9/11 type attack or retaliation for the “injustice meted out to them”. The encounter, according to Congress’s senior leader Salman Khurshid, brought tears to the eyes of Sonia Gandhi. It was announced just before the UP assembly elections. Also, you might be aware that many of the national political parties questioned the genuineness of the encounter. Congress leader, Digvijay Singh, repeatedly claimed the encounter to be fake.
I am personally involved in this process from the very beginning. Immediately after the alleged encounter, I recall, that several theories started doing rounds and it was amidst this confusion that I filed several RTI applications to find out the truth. But almost all the government department rejected my request, referring me from one window to other. That made me all the more suspicious of the encounter. There seemed something is being hid from public eyes.
If you observe the events of the entire case, you will realize that all procedures and norms were flouted in this alleged shoot out even as the government tried to manufacture consent that the Indian Mujahedeen network has been busted. Although, as the honorable Judge in this case observed later that this particular case had nothing to do with their purported links with terror groups, and the fact is that the prosecution failed to produce any credible evidence to establish their basic premise that they were IM members hiding in that particular flat.
The then Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, NCT, Tejendra Khanna, opposed a Magisterial inquiry into this encounter, the Delhi minority commission’s four member fact finding committee was denied to investigate the case. A confusion was created on the name of Shahzad (who was alleged to have shot dead inspector MC Sharma). Police initially mentioned him in different government documents as Shahnawaz or Shahabaz alias Pappu. Though police claimed to have seized his passport which will have his exact name but ironically they couldn’t find his exact name. A note prepared about the seizures by Karnal Singh (Joint-Commissioner of Police) and Satish Chandra’s letter (Special Commissioner of Police) did not mention the passport initially. These facts and many more speak twisted story of encounter. The death of MC Sharma also builds suspicion around the facts.
Politics however on the Batla Encounter has not stopped. There is an urgent need that politics over the death must stop. Unfortunately leaders of all colors have used the Batla House shootout for their own narrow political agendas. Several local politicians have literally risen over the dead bodies of those killed in that flat. Even national leaders have not shied away from exploiting the sentiments of people over the issue. I don’t need to name them again and again. All of us know how they attempted to manipulate emotions over the incident.
Both governments, at NCT Delhi and UPA at centre, have shown extremely callous attitude towards the demand for an independent probe. You have been stressing on the need to deal with the alienation of Muslim youth but the denial to order a magisterial inquiry into the encounter raises questions about government’s seriousness as a protector of rights and liberty.
Batla House Encounter has done irreparable damage to the psyche of the Muslims in country. Incidents like Batla House have created a sense of alienation and paranoid among Muslim youth.
The way enquiries were scuttled and facts were twisted, over and over again, speaks volume of the seriousness of the cases. It warrants an immediate judicial probe in the matter. The independent probe being asked by responsible leaders and general public is not only to punish the wrong-doers but also to bring back Aam Admi’s faith in our democratic setup. But not only that, the probe can give solace, and closure to the soul of inspector MC Sharma and his family.
Your government, therefore, is requested to do the needful at the earliest so as to provide justice to the effected party, directly or indirectly An anguished community will regain their lost faith in democracy and judiciary and above all, they will revere the man who has always fought for Aam Admi’s rights.
With regards and high hopes,
Thanking you in anticipation
Afroz Alam Sahil