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Batla House convict Shahzad gets life term

A Saket court on Tuesday handed over life imprisonment to Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Shahzad Ahmad. He was convicted last week, five years after the operation in which Delhi Police special cell inspector MC Sharma was gunned down in Batla House area of Jamia Nagar in South-East Delhi.

The court found him guilty of murder, attempt to murder, obstructing and assaulting public servants and grievously injuring police officers to deter them from performing their duty.
The case now seems headed to the higher courts, with prosecution hinting to move the high court for death sentence, and the defence hinting to challenge the conviction and sentence of the trial court.

Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Rajender Kumar Shastri also imposed a fine of Rs 95,000 on him, in which Rs 40,000 would go to the family of the slain inspector and Rs 20,000 to the injured constable in the encounter -- head constable Balwant Singh.

The court had on Monday reserved the verdict after hearing arguments. While the prosecution argued for death, the defence said the case did not fall into the rarest of rare categories and sought leniency. Shahzad was arrested from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh after over a year of the encounter. Police filed charge sheet in April 2010.
Prosecution examined around 70 witnesses, including six eye-witnesses who were part of the police raid team. One accused – Junaid – was declared a proclaimed offender.

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