शुक्रवार, 19 मार्च 2010

Batla House Post-Mortem: More Black Holes

Was young Sajid beaten up 'before the encounter'? In that case, how can that be an encounter? And if he was hit by a 'blunt object' after the encounter -- why, after five bullets on of his head?
Hardnews Bureau Delhi
The two young boys gunned down in the Batla House encounter, widely perceived to be fake, were hit by "blunt force impact by object or surface", besides multiple gunshot wounds. This fact was revealed in the post-mortem reports of Atif Ameen, 24, and Mohd Sajid, 18, provided by the NHRC, consequent to a RTI filed by a dogged Jamia Millia Islamia student.
The highly secretive report, which the Special Cell of the Delhi Police refused to make public despite repeated demands by civil society groups, and which finally has come out of the closet on Wednesday, March 17, 2010, after sustained efforts by RTI activist Afroz Alam Sahil, further strengthens the barrage of uncanny questions raised from all quarters challenging the authenticity of the September 19, 2008 police encounter in which the two youngsters from Azamgarh were killed. Special Cell cop MC Sharma too was killed in the 'encounter'. His post-mortem report has also been disclosed.
Earlier, the Jamia Teachers' Solidarity Organisation (JTSA), eminent citizens, lawyers, journalists and human rights activists had said that the two young boys were killed in cold blood and there should be a judicial enquiry held on the encounter. They had later decisively rejected the NHRC report as merely a reproduction of the police version with no other dimensions, queries or reports in public domain taken into account. "Although the information was supposed to be provided in 30 days legally, it was provided to me after 18 months. Finally, it is an affirmation of the quest for truth and justice," said Afroz.
Pictures shot at the time of the funeral of Sajid had shown that the deceased had five gunshot wounds on his head - "as if he has been made to sit in a sitting position and shot from above" (see picture above). Even Atif reportedly had scratches and bruises on his skin at the back. "How come, if he was killed in an encounter?" asked relatives and Jamia teachers.
Certain media and independent reports have consistently questioned the 'dubious character' of the Batla House encounter. Even Congress leader Digvijay Singh had said recently, "I have seen the photograph of the youth killed in the encounter. I think there should be a probe."
According to the post-mortem report, Sajid had 14 injuries on his body. "Injury number 1-12 are produced by firearm ammunition while injury 13 and 14 are produced by blunt force impact on surface or by object," the report says, as cited by human rights groups.
Describing injury 13, the report says it was "4x2 cm abrasion, red in colour over back of chest in midline" and injury 14 was "laceration of size 3.5x2cm horizontally over front of right leg in the middle".
The post-mortem report of Atif Ameen, cited by activists, says the cause of death was "shock and haemorrhage as a result of multiple injuries as described. All the injuries are produced by firearm ammunition except injury 7 which is produced by blunt force impact by object or surface."
The question being asked by human rights activists now is that why did the Special Cell indulge in physical beating of young Sajid, if he was killed in an encounter. That is, was he beaten up 'before the encounter'? In that case, how can that be an encounter? And why did they not arrest him if they could possibly beat him? And if he was allegedly hit by a 'blunt object' after the encounter, then it becomes much more uncanny: pray, why, after five bullets on the upper side of his head?
Moreover, there have been several questions over the circumstances under which Delhi Police Inspector MC Sharma succumbed to injuries, despite the fact that two hospitals were just a stone throw away from the site of the encounter.
However, the NHRC, which totally relied on the police version, and apparently had access to these post-mortem reports, did not deem it necessary to highlight these points in its one-sided report. "The facts revealed in the post-mortem reports show that there is something wrong in the official version. This further strengthens the demand for a judicial enquiry into the encounter," said Manisha Sethi, president, Jamia Teachers Solidarity Association (JTSA).
Our coverage of Batla House encounter

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