Jamia Teachers' Solidarity Association (JTSA) which was formed in the wake of the Batla house police shootout in 2008, in its initial reaction, has expressed disappointment at the conviction. Most of the members of the JTSA, including Manisha Sethi, Sanghamitra Misra, Tanveer Fazal were present in the court.
Speaking to TCN from Azamgarh over phone, Dr. Javed Akhtar, President Association for Welfare, Medical, Educational and Legal Assistance (AWMELA), that is fighting the case on behalf of Shahzad too was "disappointed." He said that once the sentencing is announced on July 29, they will discuss the case minutely with their lawyers, adding that they will definitely appeal the conviction in the high court. He accepted that it is a "set back in their struggle for justice" and that media reports in last few weeks that the prosecution was not very convincing in providing evidence in support of their version, had made them hopeful and they were expecting a judgement in favor.
In what could be big relief to the Delhi Police, the court has accepted the police version of encounter. Shahzad Ahmed, Special Cell of the Delhi Police, claims was one of the occupants in the L 18 house in the Batla House, where the alleged encounter took place on September 19, 2008, six days after serial blasts in the city. According to the prosecution, he fired at Inspector Sharma and than escaped from the the House L 18 in Batla House, where the 'encounter' took place in 2008.
RTI activist Afroz Alam Sahil, who was first one to get copies of those killed in the police shoot out, is still hopeful of 'justice.' He said, "This judgement is from a district court and we still have the options of high court and the Supreme Court," adding that he firmly believes that in this country justice may be delayed, but is seldom denied.
SQR Ilyas, General Secretary of the Welfare Party of India, said that he is "dismayed" at the judgement, where all legal procedure has been put aside and the court accepted the police version, taking no cognizance of questions raised.
Civil society groups have been arguing that the L-18 flat in Batla House area has only one exit which was manned by police people; there is no possibility to escape by jumping. Anyone attempting that would only break his bones. Further that the local police was not informed in time and that the FIR was filed very late.
Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, President of All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat said in a written statement that it is too early to comment as we do not know in detail what the judgment really says. Questioning the police version, however, he said, "The 'input' for Batla House came from the same infamous IB special director who provided the fake inputs that were used for 17 fake encounters in Gujarat which are being probed now," adding, "We continue to beleive that the Batla House encounter was fake and we stand by our demand for a high level judicial enquiry into the incident."
The court faild to answer why inspector sharma was not wearing bullet proof jacket.
The court, during the arguments, questioned why Sharma was not wearing a bullet-proof jacket when he knew that he was leading the team to catch terror suspects and why two police officers were not carrying arms.
"Police had already 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. Moreover, at least two members of the raiding party were having no weapon with them, despite knowing the fact that they may face firing."
"It is not clear whether it was merely a misadventure or lack of professionalism in Delhi Police or scarcity of weapons," the judge said.
Digvijaya Singh in his statement said "I stick to stand that Batla House encounter was fake."
Mohd. Firoz Alam said we will appeal in higher court against this verdict.
Facebook page "I believe the 2008 Batla House encounter was FAKE"
Manisha Sethi explaining why she thinks the Batla House Encounter was fake.
This case is far from over Muslims will appeal in higher court against this injustice. Muslims have been tolerating this nonsense and bias for far too long. It is not something new in this Hindu majority country where innocent Muslims in the past have been time and again framed and charged for terrorist activities.