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Batla House shootout: Shahzad Ahmed gets life sentence
Tuesday July 30, 2013 3:33 PM, ummid.com & Agencies

A Delhi court Tuesday awarded life sentence to Shahzad Ahmed, convicted last week in the controversial 2008 Batla house encounter case. The court also asked the lone convict in the case to pay a fine of Rs. 50,000.

Ahmad was said to be present in the flat in Jamia Nagar in south Delhi where the shootout took place on Sep 19, 2008.

The court July 25 held Ahmad guilty of assaulting police officials and obstructing them from doing their duty.

He was convicted of offences that included murder and attempt to murder which carry a death penalty as the maximum sentence.

The Sep 19, 2008, exchange of fire took place between a seven-member Delhi Police Special Cell team, led by Inspector Sharma, and suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorists allegedly involved in the Sep 13, 2008, serial blasts in Delhi.

Various politicians and activists, including Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, had alleged that the encounter was fake and that Inspector Sharma had been killed by "inter-departmental rivalry". They cited the fact that the cop was not wearing a bullet-proof vest while facing men believed to be deadly terrorists.

The judge said he had not been given evidence to prove that Shahzad Ahmed is a terrorist, but he also said that his focus was on the killing of the police officer.

"For the purpose of decision of this case it hardly matters as to whether accused was affiliated to Indian Mujahideen or not," he said.

Demand for an impartial high level judicial probe into the entire incident was raised since beginning. However, the government turned down all these demands stating that the alleged "encounter" was genuine.

After Shezad Ahmed's conviction in the case July 25, Majlis-e-Mushawerat, an umberalla organisation of over a dozen Muslim NGOs, Jamat-e-Islami, Rihai Manch, Jamia Teachers Association and others once again demanded a high level judicial enquiry into the infmous shootout.

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