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Delhi witnesses protests on Batla encounter anniversary

September 19, 2011 17:24 IST

Several organisations on Monday staged protests in Delhi on the third anniversary of the Batla House encounter, in which three alleged Indian Mujahideen terrorists were killed, to demand a judicial probe into the incident.

Security apparatus has been strengthened against the backdrop of a terror attack carried out on the same day last year outside Jama Masjid, in which two Taiwanese nationals were injured, to avenge the 2008 Batla House encounter which took place a week after the Indian Mujahideen had carried out serial blasts in the capital.

The capital is still reeling from the bomb blast outside the Delhi high court 12 days ago which killed 15 people, including a woman, and injured over 70 others.

While a group of people took out a march from Batla House in south Delhi to Jantar Mantar, activists of the Rashtriya Ulema Council gathered at the site, demanding an "independent" judicial probe into the incident.

National president of the Council Aamir Rashadi Madni claimed that the two youths -- Atif Amin and Mohammad Sajad -- who were killed in the encounter at Batla House, were innocent.

"There should be an independent enquiry by a sitting Supreme Court judge to probe the Batla House encounter and whosoever is found guilty must be punished," said Madni.

Madni said the circumstances in which police inspector Mohan Chand Sharma of Delhi Police's Special Cell was killed in the encounter should also be probed.

"We have been demanding a judicial probe into the matter for the last three years but the government led by the Congress, which falsely claims to be Muslims' well wisher, is not listening to us," Madani alleged.

"Several Muslims were arrested for their alleged involvement in the Malegaon bomb blast case but now it has come to light that they were completely innocent. Who is going to compensate for their lost years," Madani said.

Over 20,000 armed personnel have been deployed across the city, who are keeping a hawk-eye vigil and carrying out searches in the wake of the heightened threat perception, an official said, adding that all precautionary measures were being taken.

"Till Dusshera, we have to be on high alert. We will be conducting extra searches. People may get inconvenienced. But we have to stay alert," the official said.

The Delhi police have also roped in traffic police and civil defence personnel to check motorcyclists, DTC buses and keep a vigil at crowded places.

Last year, on the same day, two men had opened random fire outside the Jama Masjid, injuring two Taiwanese nationals. Two hours later, a car went up in flames after a "poorly circuited and crudely assembled" device went off.

The attack came just a fortnight before Delhi was to host the Commonwealth Games.

The Indian Mujahideen had claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was to avenge the killing of three members of the outfit who were killed in the Batla House encounter.

The police initially attributed the two incidents at Jama Masjid to "disgruntled youths and local criminal gangs", ruling out the involvement of any organised terror outfit.

The Jama Masjid attack had added one more case to the Delhi police's list of unsolved terror attack cases.

"There are no leads in this case. We had traced the email to Mumbai but after that there were no leads," the official said.

The police had also rummaged through unedited TV tapes looking for clues while several teams criss-crossed small towns in Uttar Pradesh looking for leads.

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