By Mumtaz Alam Falahi, TwoCircles.net
New Delhi: It’s about one and half months since an application under Right to Information Act was filed with the National Human Rights Commission seeking explanations about the method and procedures of its enquiry into the Batla House encounter, but the apex constitutional body on human rights is yet to respond.
The NHRC in its report on the encounter submitted to the Delhi High Court on August 4 had given a clean chit to the Delhi Police in the September 19, 2008 encounter at House No. L-18 in the Batla House locality of Delhi’s Jamia Nagar. Two youths of Azamgarh, suspected to be terrorists, and Inspector MC Sharma were killed in the shootout. Neighbors, human and civil rights groups and parents of the slain youths said the encounter was staged and demanded a judicial probe. The demand was rejected by the government. However, at the order of the High Court, NHRC conducted a probe in which it declared that the encounter was genuine and the police opened fire in self defence.
The NHRC was alleged to have prepared the report without bothering to visit the spot, taking views of the neighbors, human rights activists, parents and even the accused the police claimed to have arrested from the flat.
The RTI application filed with the NHRC on August 12 sought to know: if in the process of the enquiry the commission talked to the family of Inspector MC Sharma, Atif and Sajid – the two Azamgarh youths killed in the encounter. The applicant also wanted to know if taking views of the petitioners and respondents and their witnesses is part of the process of its enquiry or not.
Does the commission visit site of encounter while probing it? If yes, then when did the commission visit the spot of Batla House encounter (date and time) and who did they talk to? asked the petitioner.
The petitioner has also sought to know from the commission as to why the commission did not order for a magisterial probe in Batla House encounter when its guidelines ask the commission to do so in every encounter.
Talking to TwoCircles.net on September 19, the day of the first anniversary of the Batla House encounter, RTI activist and petitioner of this application Afroz Alam Sahil said that the mandatory 30 days to respond to the application have ended and the commission is yet to respond his application. Sahil has sought information on 13 points related to the NHRC probe into the Batla encounter.