The conviction of Shahzad Ahmad in the 2008 Batla House encounter case should set at rest all speculations in this regard. The court has reached this conclusion after going through voluminous case records, including statements of witnesses. The judge has also found fault with some of the procedures the police had adopted like, for instance, the non-use of bulletproof vest by the police personnel. However, the point to be noted is that the court has found Ahmad guilty of killing Delhi Police inspector Mohan Chand Sharma. Of course, the Indian judicial system allows the aggrieved to go in for appeal against the verdict, which will prevail till a higher court decides otherwise.
Unfortunately, some political leaders had questioned the bona fides of the Delhi Police claim that they had an encounter with four armed terrorists in a Batla House flat at Jamianagar. What’s worse, the politicians seemed to lend credence to the theory, spread by interested groups that the inspector was killed in an internecine police war, despite all the evidence to the contrary. By questioning the police claim and demanding a judicial inquiry, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh had succeeded in creating only confusion in the minds of the people. It is a pity that even after the verdict, he still claims that a judicial inquiry should have been ordered, as if the present verdict is not judicial.
Indeed, there were some fake encounters in Delhi and elsewhere in India. But that does not justify treating every encounter as fake, particularly when there is evidence to the contrary in the form of police casualty. The police, often, have to work under adverse circumstances and any step that demoralises them is not in the national interest. Our judicial system is capable of dealing with policemen who take the law into their own hands. There have been umpteen instances where police officers have been taken to task for aberrations. In other words, the police should be left to do their job in as transparent and justifiable a manner as possible.