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Shahi Imam meets PM on Batla House shootout

Monday, April 05, 2010 08:41:23 AM, IANS

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New Delhi: A top Muslim cleric Saturday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the alleged fake shootout at the Batla House in which two suspected terrorists were killed following the 2008 serial bomb blasts in Delhi.

Shahi Imam Ahmed Bukhari, who leads the prayers in Delhi's Jama Masjid, said he held a 35-minute meeting with the prime minister during which he showed him documentary evidence suggesting that the Sep 19, 2008 gunfight in Batla House was staged by the police.

Two alleged terrorists of the Indian Mujahideen - Saajid and Aatif, both from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh - were killed by Delhi Police in the Muslim-dominated south Delhi neighbourhood, just six days after five bombs ripped through the capital's busy marketplaces Sep 13, 2008. Police inspector Mohan Chand Sharma was also killed in the incident.

"I showed the prime minister the post mortem examination reports of Saajid and Aatif that suggest that the two were fired upon from a very close range and were dragged and hit with a blunt object before being shot dead. The reports surprisingly have no mention of whose bullets had hit them," Bukhari told IANS after meeting Manmohan Singh.

The cleric said that the prime minister was "surprised" and assured that he would meet Home Minister P. Chidambaram about it and would take action.

Bukhari said that he also showed the prime minister a National Human Rights Commission Report that has documented fake shootouts in the country resulting in the death of 1,224 people.

He expressed concern that Muslim youth in the country were being picked up by police and tagged as terrorists. "This should stop and only courts should be allowed to pass the verdict about who is a terrorist and who is innocent. I discussed this with the prime minister," Bukhrari said.

The cleric said that he had obtained the documents through an RTI application.









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