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Batla House verdict: Slain cop’s colleagues break down in court

As a Delhi court on Thursday convicted suspected Indian Mujahideen operative Shahzad Ahmad for murdering a police inspector and assaulting other officers in the 2008 Batla House encounter case, two inspectors who had been part of the encounter team, broke down in court.

Special cell inspector of Delhi police, Mohan Chand Sharma, had succumbed to bullet injuries sustained during the gun battle. Sharma had been a much-decorated official, who had won seven gallantry medals, including the President of India’s Medal in 2008. He was awarded the Ashoka Chakra on 26 January 2009.

At the Saket court on Thursday, Rahul Singh, one of the inspectors who had been part of the team, recalled how he had intercepted the call records of the suspected Indian Mujaheddin terrorists who had carried out the 13 September serial blasts in Delhi. ‘The calls were kept on surveillance to trace out their whereabouts in Delhi. On the basis of information from the intercepted calls, the suspected terrorists were traced to the Jamia Nagar area of south-east Delhi,’ explained Singh.

Though Singh broke down in court, while recalling the sequence of events on 19 September 2008, the day of the encounter, he was more composed while talking to Millennium Post and tried to play down the incident as just another case.  
Singh said, 'As police officials it is our duty to carry out raids. Many of these are dangerous. The Batla House encounter was sad because we lost one of our key officials, who was also a sharp shooter and an intelligent investigator.'

He added, 'At the end of the day we all are police officials. We don't have any feelings, sentiments left. To solve cases, to act rapidly, we have to be emotionally strong.'

Dharmender Kumar, another special cell official, who had been the first to spot the suspected terrorists in L-18 Batla House, after introducing himself as a Vodafone salesman, remained unavailable for comments.

Sanjeev Yadav, deputy commissioner of police (special cell) who had been assistant commissioner of police in 2008, said he was satisfied with the court’s verdict.

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