The Batla House encounter is once again in the news with the arrest of Indian Mujahideen operative Ariz Khan, alias Junaid. Ariz Khan revealed to the National Investigating Agency (NIA) that Batla House encounter was not fake. Ariz Khan was wanted in the 2005 Delhi serial blast case. He revealed to NIA that IM was behind the Delhi blasts in 2005 on the eve of Diwali. Three blasts on October 29, 2005, in three different places- Paharganj, Sarojini Market and Okhla- claimed 67 lives and about 230 people suffered injuries. He was arrested by (NIA) earlier this year for his alleged involvement in the 2005 serial blasts in the National Capital.
Ariz Khan provided an eyewitness account of the infamous and widely debated Batla House encounter in the year 2008. NIA interrogated him at great length in which he revealed that he was also present in the flat beside Atif Ameen, Chota Sajid, Shahzad Ahmed alias Pappu and Mohammed Saif. Ariz revealed to NIA that his collaborator Atif Ameen tried to escape but inspector Mohan Chand Sharma caught him. Atif snatched the gun from inspector Sharma and started firing. Ariz Khan revealed that it was the IM operatives who first started the firing following which the police returned fire. Sajid and Atif died as a result of return police firing but Shehzad and Ariz managed to flee from the flat. In the Batla House encounter which took place in South Delhi, encounter specialist Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma was martyred. This encounter became fodder for many political parties.
NIA also found, during their investigation, that Ariz Khan,32, was involved in almost all major blasts that shook the country between 2005 and 2008. According to NIA, Ariz Khan was part of the serial blasts at Delhi (2005), Varanasi (2006), Uttar Pradesh (2007), Jaipur (2008) and Delhi again in 2008. NIA charged him on September 2014. When he was arrested in 2014, he was working to revive IM. He was in touch with IM co-founder Riyaz Bhatkal and also went to Saudi Arabia to collect fund for the revival of IM. His arrest is a big achievement for the investigating agencies and the government. Earlier in the year 2016, missing Batla encounter suspects appeared in an ISIS video on Indian ‘Jihadists.’
Information revealed by Ariz Khan has made one thing clear that the Batla House encounter was not fake. What happened after the encounter was very disheartening. In their quest of appeasement politics, few political leaders belonging to pseudo-secular parties like Samajwadi Party, Indian National Congress and new born Aam Aadmi Party accused the Delhi Police of staging a fake encounter and killing two ‘innocent’ Muslim youths. They started playing their vote-bank politics and minority appeasement. Congress leader, Salman Khursid said that Sonia Gandhi cried after seeing the pictures of Batla House encounter. At an election meeting in UP, He said, “I was not a minister at that time but still took the issue of the Batla house encounter to Sonia Gandhi and she had tears in her eyes.”
Seeing all this voting bank politics, the family of inspector Sharma returned the government money as they felt insulted. These pseudo-secular politicians also declared Ishrat Jahan, an L-e-T terrorist as a shaheed. These cases are great examples of vote bank politics at cost of National Security.