The incident is nearly 11 years old now; the film released on Independence Day. What happened at Batla House, in Southeast Delhi’s Jamia Nagar area, on September 19, 2008, where two suspected terrorists and a decorated police officer were killed?
On September 19, 2008, a team from Delhi Police Special Cell shot dead two suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorists in an apartment near Khalilullah mosque in Jamia Nagar’s Batla House area. Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma, who was leading the Delhi Police team, was shot at during the encounter. He succumbed to his injuries later that day.
According to the police, the two suspects killed in the encounter were responsible for the serial blasts in Delhi and Ahmedabad in July 2008 and in Hyderabad in 2007. Of the five occupants of the flat, two were killed, two escaped and one was arrested.
“Terrorist Atif alias Bashir (24) was one of the key leaders of the Indian Mujahideen… He was linked with mastermind Abdus Subhan alias Tauqeer,” then Delhi Police Commissioner Y S Dadwal had said.
The other man who was killed was identified as Sajid (25). The two suspects were residents of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh. One AK-47 rifle and two .30-bore pistols were also recovered from the encounter site.
At that time, officials said they had received information the previous night about the presence of five terrorists in a flat in Batla House. On the following day (September 19, 2008), the Special Cell team arrived at the flat on the fifth floor in Batla House at around 10.15 am.
Inspector Sharma, along with five officers, knocked on the doors of all the flats located on the floor. The door to L-18 opened and Sharma took three bullets. Police said the terrorists fired eight rounds, while they fired 22 rounds.
At least 21 people were killed and over 100 were injured in the blasts that rocked the national capital a few days prior to the encounter. Five explosions took place within a span of 30 minutes on the evening of September 13, 2008, across Karol Bagh, M Block Market in Greater Kailash 1 and Connaught Place.
The IM later took responsibility for the attacks which were carried out in revenge for the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992.
Minutes before the blasts, television news channels had received a 13-page email, in which the group said: “Never assume that we have forgotten the demolition of Babri Masjid and by Allah, we can never forget it! It is that grave mistake of yours which will make you taste the humiliation for generations to come. Babri Masjid was and will remain to be our glorious self-esteem and Inshallah, we will prove it to you a hornet’s nest in which you have immersed your bare hand, unaware of the pain to come.”
The email was titled, “Eye for an Eye: The Dust Will Never Settle Down”.