The conviction of Shahzad, a suspect arrested in connection with the 2008 Batla House encounter, has brought ‘some relief’ to Mohan Chand Sharma’s family which, over the years, has lived with questions surrounding the operation that the slain cop led.
“I don’t know him (Shahzad) or any other accused and have no ill will towards them at a personal level, but I lived with my husband for 15 years and have complete faith on his integrity. All kind of things about the encounter’s authenticity were said repeatedly but I chose not to respond as we knew truth will prevail in the end,” said Sharma’s wife Maya at their residence in Dwarka here on Thursday.
The stoicism was also reflected in the responses of Sharma’s parents, Narottam and Devendri, who along with their daughter-in-law were talking to journalists in a room where adorning the walls were various certificates of honour their son received during his service.
Recounting the series of events on September 19, 2008, the day the encounter took place, Devendri Devi said that 2008 Delhi bomb blasts investigations kept Sharma busy and he rarely visited home. He, however, made sure to visit his son Divyanshu who was being treated in a nearby hospital for dengue back then.
“On the fateful day, he couldn’t even finish breakfast and left soon after receiving a phone call. That was the last time I saw him alive. A few hours later, I received a phone call from my daughter who informed me that Mohan had been shot,” she said, the narration bringing a lump in her throat.
The family then rushed to the hospital where Sharma was taken and later succumbed to his injuries. Narottam said his son always wanted to be a policeman and resigned from the post of a clerk in the Finance Ministry to join the Delhi Police more than two decades ago.
They also added that they were waiting for the final verdict in the case and wanted “strictest possible” punishment for the accused.
Life, meanwhile, has moved on at its own pace with Maya now well settled in her role as a Hindi teacher, an assignment she took up after her husband’s death. Striking a balance between her family life and teaching, she has added two more educational degrees, a B.Ed. and an MA in Hindi, to her curriculum vitae since she joined the job.
The couple’s two children, who were teenagers in 2008, have grown into college-going adults. Asked about their inclination to follow in the footsteps of their father, a decorated policeman, and join the force, Maya said neither she nor her husband ever forced the children to take a certain career path.
While the family stayed away from making any comments against politicians, neighbours such as B. R. Agrawal had their ire reserved for them, particularly Congress leader Digvijay Singh, who has often questioned the veracity of the Delhi Police version of the incident.