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Batla House Encounter: Ariz Khan Awarded Death Sentence

Batla House Encounter: Ariz Khan Awarded Death Sentence

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NEW DELHI, Mar 15: A Delhi court on Monday awarded death penalty to Ariz Khan convicted for the murder of police inspector Mohan Chand Sharma and other offences in connection with the 2008 Batla House encounter.

The court accepted the police demand for death penalty for Khan, who was allegedly associated with the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen, and said it was not just a killing but a murder of a law enforcement officer who was a defender of justice.

On March 8, the court had convicted Khan, along with his accomplices for the killing of inspector Sharma who led the Delhi Police team during the September 19, 2008 operation, but had kept a decision on quantum of punishment reserved.

Besides handing Khan the death penalty, the court also imposed a fine of ₹11 lakh on him, directing that of the said amount, ₹10 lakh be immediately released and given to deceased inspector Sharma’s family.

Earlier, convicting the 35-year-old for the murder of the police officer, additional sessions judge Sandeep Yadav held him guilty of murder, attempt to murder, obstructing public servant on duty, causing grievous hurt and non-appearance despite being declared a proclaimed offender (PO). Khan was pronounced a PO in 2009 and arrested almost 10 years after being on the run.

Khan, who went by the alias Junaid, was convicted along with his accomplices Salim and Ann for Sharma’s killing. While pronouncing him guilty, the court observed that ‘Khan, with his associates, intentionally and knowingly caused the murder of Sharma by a gunshot from a firearm.’

The Batla House encounter took place six days after the national capital was rocked by serial blasts, in which at least 30 people were killed and more than 100 injured. The Sharma-led team, reportedly acting on a tip-off, carried out a raid at flat number 108, L-18, Batla House in city’s Jamia Nagar. While Sharma was killed in action, two alleged IM terrorists-Mohammed Atif Ameen and Mohammed Sajid were also gunned down.

Khan and Shahzad Ahmad, another alleged IM member, were able to escape. Ahmad was later nabbed and sentenced to life imprisonment in July 2013. His appeal against the verdict has been pending in the high court.

Khan, meanwhile, was arrested from the India-Nepal border on February 14, 2018.

(Manas Dasgupta)



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