2008 Batla House encounter convict Ariz Khan sentenced to death
Ariz Khan, the alleged Indian Mujahideen terrorist convicted in the 2008 Batla House encounter case, was on Monday sentenced to death by a Delhi court in connection with the murder of Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma and other offenses. Last week, the court convicted Khan saying it was duly proved he and his associates opened fire at the police officer and murdered him. Here's more.
Additional Sessions Judge of Delhi's Saket Court, Sandeep Yadav, handed down the death sentence to Khan, noting that this case was the "rarest of the rare cases." Moreover, the judge has also imposed a fine of Rs. 11 lakh on the convict. Of this amount, Rs. 10 lakh would be given to the family of the deceased Inspector Sharma as directed by the court.
Earlier, the police sought a death sentence for Khan, saying that the murder of Inspector Sharma was not just any killing but the murder of a law enforcement officer and a defender of justice. AT Ansari, the Additional Public Prosecutor, who was representing the police, said this particular case attracts capital punishment. Khan's lawyer, however, opposed the death penalty and sought a lesser sentence.
In its 103-page judgment, the court noted that Ariz Khan along with his associates "assaulted and used criminal force" on deceased Inspector Sharma and his team, who were all public servants, and voluntarily obstructed them with intent to deter them from discharging their duties.
Khan, who is a native of Uttar Pradesh's Azamgarh and a BTech graduate from Muzaffaranagar's SD College, is an explosives expert. He also allegedly master-minded the 2008 serial bomb blasts in Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh. Following the 2008 blasts, he moved to Nepal under the name "Salim." However, Delhi Police's Special Cell arrested him in February 2018 when he was visiting India.
Five serial bomb blasts rocked Delhi on September 13, 2008, killing 30 people and injuring 90, for which Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility. Delhi Police received inputs about the location of Mujahideen terrorists, following which a Delhi Police Special Cell team reached Jamia Nagar's Batla House on September 19. A 20-minute encounter followed in which Inspector Sharma was martyred and two head constables were injured.
In the Batla House encounter, two Mujahideen terrorists - Mohammad Sajid and Atif Amin - were also killed, while Ariz Khan along with another terrorist named Shahzad Ahmed (convicted and sentenced in 2013) managed to escape. However, another Indian Mujahideen operative Mohammad Saif was arrested.