IM man convicted for killing cop

New Delhi, Mar 08 (PTI): A court here on Monday convicted Ariz Khan, allegedly associated with the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen, for the murder of Delhi police inspector Mohan Chand Sharma in a case related to 2008 Batla House encounter which was questioned by certain political parties and leaders.
Additional Sessions Judge Sandeep Yadav said the evidence produced by the prosecution duly proved the case beyond reasonable doubts. The judge said that it was duly proved that Ariz Khan and his associates caused murder of police official and fired gunshot on the police official.
The court will hear arguments on the quantum of sentence on March 15.
Ariz Khan faces a maximum punishment of death penalty while the minimum sentence for murder is life imprisonment. He was arrested on February 14, 2018, after a decade being on run.
The judgement assumes importance as Congress leader Digvijay Singh had voiced his doubts over the police claims about the encounter and Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had also demanded a judicial inquiry into the matter.
However, the Congress party had distanced itself from the comment of Singh, who later in 2016 had also claimed that there was no evidence to prove the guilt of the accused arrested in the matter and had asked the central government to order a judicial probe into the encounter by dubbing it as “fake”.
Following his comment, the BJP had staged a protest near the Congress headquarters in Delhi demanding an apology from its top leadership over the statements of the party leaders over the Batla House encounter issue.
Inspector Sharma of the Special Cell of Delhi Police was killed during the encounter which took place a week after five serial blasts had hit the national capital on September 13, 2008 in which at least 30 people were killed and over 100 injured.
After the encounter of September 19, 2008, protest rallies were organised against it by teachers and students of Jamia Millia Islamia University.
National Human Rights Commission(NHRC), which had conducted inquiry in the case on the direction of the Delhi High Court, gave clean chit to Delhi Police.
Two suspected terrorists, Atif Ameen and Mohammad Sajid were killed while two other suspects — Mohammad Saif and Zeeshan were arrested earlier.
Besides murder, the court on Monday also convicted the accused under various other sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 333 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt to a public servant in the discharge of his official duty), 353 (assault or use of criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 307 (attempt to murder) and 34 (common intention) and under section 27 (punishment for using arms) of the Arms Act.
Ariz Khan is also accused in a separate case related to the terror activities that had taken place prior to the encounter at Batla House in Jamia Nagar in south Delhi.
During the arguments, additional public prosecutor A T Ansari, representing police, had claimed that Ariz Khan was present at Batla House, along with four others, and had managed to give police the slip during the encounter.
Defence advocate Qausar Khan had countered police claim and said that the prosecution lacked evidence against the accused.
Earlier, a trial court in July 2013 had sentenced Indian Mujahideen terrorist Shahzad Ahmed to life imprisonment in connection with the Batla House encounter case.
His appeal against the trial court’s verdict has been pending in the high court.
Ariz Khan had fled from the spot and was declared proclaimed offender.

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