गुरुवार, 18 मार्च 2010

Batla post-mortem report talks of injury by "blunt object/surface"

RTI query's findings raise questions about "encounter" theory
Danish Raza New Delhi March 18 2010

The autopsy reports of Atif Ameen and Mohammad Sajid, who were branded terrorists and shot dead at Batla House, have once again cast doubts on the veracity of the police encounter theory.

Delhi Police had said Atif and Sajid were gunned down in a fierce encounter on September 19, 2008.

But the post-mortem reports, obtained by Jamia Millia Islamia student Afroz Alam through an RTI application, says Atif and Sajid suffered injuries “produced by blunt force impact by object or surface.” The cause of the death, as per the report, was “shock and haemorrhage as a result of multiple injuries as described”. Though the apparent reason for the death is the bullet injuries caused by the fire-arms, the autopsy report gives scope for the speculation that the gun battle was preceded by a scuffle too.

This startling revelation in the report, a copy of which is with Governance now, is likely to open Pandora’s box for Delhi Police which has maintained all along that the two were active members of the Indian Mujahideen and responsible for a series of bomb attacks in the national capital and other parts of the country in 2008.

The autopsy report can lend credence to the allegation that the encounter was stage-managed. For instance, the four-page report reveals that 24-year-old Atif had 21 injuries on his body, 16 of which were gunshot wounds. “All the injuries are produced by firearm ammunition except injury no 7 which is produced by blunt force impact by object or surface,” says the report.

Though the report does not mention if these injuries were caused after the gun-shot wounds, legal experts like Prashan Bhushan feel that the report gives enough scope to take the police version with a pinch of salt. “It was not merely an encounter,” said Bhushan.

The autopsy report for 22-year-old Sajid points out there were total 14 injuries on his body, of which two were produced by impact of blunt object or surface.

In June 2009, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) submitted its report on the encounter, giving a clean chit to police.

In October, Afroz had filed an RTI application in the NHRC seeking the post-mortem reports of the two victims along with police inspector Mohan Chand Sharma, who was also killed in the gun fight, and all the documents on the basis of which the commission prepared its report। He obtained these documents on Wednesday.

Danish Raza is a Principal Correspondent with Governance Now.

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