‘Sharma didn’t wear bullet-proof jacket as it would have blown cover’https://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/sharma-didnt-wear-bulletproof-jacket-as-it-would-have-blown-cover/

‘Sharma didn’t wear bullet-proof jacket as it would have blown cover’

Yadav recalled how Central intelligence agencies and the ATS of various state police were gathering information on terrorists after blasts in Gujarat and Jaipur.

After a Saket court while pronouncing the verdict in the 2008 Batla House encounter case pointed out that Inspector M C Sharma was not wearing a bullet-proof jacket,the officer who led the operation said they could not have worn any protective gear as it would have blown their cover.

DCP Special Cell Sanjeev Yadav,who was an ACP at the time of the encounter,said: “My men would have been recognised had they gone in with bullet-proof jackets. Even the car they used was parked several metres from the area.”

Yadav recalled how Central intelligence agencies and the ATS of various state police were gathering information on terrorists after blasts in Gujarat and Jaipur.

“The night before the encounter,on September 18,we received a specific input that a Vodafone number was being used and that the terrorists were staying at a particular address. This needed to be verified. So we formed two teams. The first team comprised seven officers led by Inspector M C Sharma and I was leading the second team. S I Dharmender first went in,posing as a Vodafone executive,to verify the address. The seven-member team followed. The men opened fire at us first and we fired in defence.”

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Yadav said a police vehicle too had to be parked at a distance since they would otherwise,have been identified as police officers.

“We couldn’t take the risk of being identified. So officers had to be dressed in civvies. When Inspector Sharma and Head Constable Rajbir received bullet injuries,they were brought down by our men,but couldn’t be put into a vehicle because it was parked away from the site. They had to walk all the way,” Yadav said.

The second team led by Yadav was equipped with bullet-proof jackets and weapons.

Commenting on the verdict,Yadav said,“It was a matter of joy and great pride that despite so much flak that the department faced over the case,the ruling finally brought out the truth.”