As final arguments in the 2008 Batla House encounter case near completion, Satish Tamta, who represents one of the accused Shahzad, on Tuesday used the statements of police witnesses to highlight the “absurdity” of the police claim that his client was one of the alleged militants who shot at the police party. While arguing before Additional Sessions Judge Rajender Kumar Shastri, Mr. Tamta said the police claim that Shahzad was arrested on the disclosure of Mohammed Saif was doubtful and seems without any evidence when the local police did not see Saif on the spot at the time of encounter.

Mohammed Saif was allegedly arrested from flat no. 108 in Batla House, where the encounter took place on September 19, 2008. It resulted in the death of Special Cell Inspector M.C. Sharma and two alleged militants – Atif Amin and Mohammad Sajid.

Mr. Tamta highlighted the statement of police witness Jogender Singh Joon, a former inspector with Jamia Nagar police station, who visited the spot at the time of the encounter. Mr. Joon had, while deposing before the court, claimed that he did not meet Saif when he visited the spot at 11.40 a.m. He said he did not examine Saif while the investigation remained with him till September 30, 2008.

“The fact that even immediately after the encounter, the local police did not see the very guy who is instrumental in the arrest of Shahzad, this makes the police claim extremely doubtful. Moreover, the police do not have even a single witness who could have furnished Shahzad’s description,” argued Mr. Tamta.

He also referred to ACP Sanjeev Yadav’s statement before the court claiming to have ordered the police raid on the morning of September 19 which resulted in the encounter.

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