Millennium Post

Judge wonders why cop wasn’t wearing bullet-proof jacket

While putting to rest the debate on the genuineness of the 2008 Batla House encounter, a court, which on Thursday convicted lone accused Shahzad Ahmad, wondered why slain Delhi police inspector M C Sharma did not wear a bullet-proof jacket despite knowing that they may face firing.

Additional sessions judge Rajender Kumar Shastri wondered if not being properly equipped while going on the operation was merely a ‘misadventure or lack of professionalism’ in Delhi police or scarcity of weapons with the probe agency.

‘It agitates in my mind that the incident in question was not a sudden confrontation between police and the assailants. The police had already an information, receiving which, a raiding party was formed well in advance. Despite all this, inspector M C Sharma did not wear any body protection device i.e. bullet-proof jacket,’ the judge said.

‘Moreover, at least two members of raiding party had no weapon with them despite knowing the fact that they may face firing’, the court said.

The court, however, added that even if the police were not wearing bullet-proof jackets, the flat occupants should have assisted the team in its probe.
‘ did not give any licence to the occupants of a flat to fire at police persons, who went there to investigate a case, merely because they were unarmed or not wearing any bullet-proof jacket. They were expected to assist the police and not to attack them,’ the court said.

The judge added it has been established inspector Mohan Chand Sharma and head constable Balwant, members of raiding party had suffered bullet injury after they were fired at by the flat occupants including Shahzad.

Meanwhile, Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar welcomed the court verdict and termed the Batla House encounter, as a ‘very unique operation, unprecedented.’
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