A Delhi court Thursday found suspected Indian Mujahideen member Shahzad Ahmad guilty in the controversial September 2008 Batla House shootout in the capital in which Delhi Police Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma was killed and two officers wounded.
Shahzad, who is now around 28-years-old and belongs to Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, was the lone suspect to be arrested in the case.
Additional Sessions Judge Rajender Kumar Shastri held him guilty of various crimes committed through common intent, including the killing of Sharma, obstructing public servants in the discharge of their duty, assaulting and causing hurt to public servants, attempting to kill two police officers, causing disappearance of evidence, and under various provisions of the Arms Act.
But the court was non-committal about Shahzad’s alleged Indian Mujahideen affiliation. “For the purpose of decision of this case, it hardly matters as to whether accused was affiliated to Indian Mujahideen or not,” the judge said.
He accepted the defence plea that there was no evidence on record to suggest that Shahzad was a member of the terrorist organisation. “True, there is no evidence on record to establish that fact. At the same time, this court cannot be expected to endeavour in giving any finding about said fact,” the judge said.
Shahzad’s sentencing is set for Monday.
Shahzad was accused of firing at the Delhi Police team which entered the fourth floor house at L 108, Batla House, in Jamia Nagar. The prosecution had said that the police team had raided the house on September 19, 2008, after a specific tip-off that IM members suspected to be responsible for the serial bomb blasts in Delhi on September 13, were hiding there.
The police had alleged that the occupants of the flat had opened fire at them when they entered the flat after announcing their identity. The police returned fire in self-defence, and Sharma, head constable Balwant Singh and head constable Rajbir received bullet injuries, with Sharma succumbing to his injuries in hospital.
Two occupants of the flat, Mohd. Atif Ameen and Mohd. Sajid, were killed in the shootout and two, including Shahzad, managed to escape by firing at the police.
One of the occupants of