teachers reject Batla House encounter's farcial enquiry by human rights commission
24 July 2009
JAMIA TEACHERS’ SOLIDARITY GROUP (JTSG)
ALL INDIA STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION (AISA)
ASSOCIATION FOR THE PROTECTION OF CIVIL RIGHTS (APCR)
REJECT THE FARCICAL ‘ENQUIRY’ BY THE NHRC ! STAND UP FOR
TRUTH AND JUSTICE
The National Human Rights Commission’s so-called enquiry into the Batla
House ‘encounter’ has pronounced the Delhi Police innocent of any foul
play. Interestingly, the NHRC’s investigations into the police action on
19th September are based on evidences provided by those accused of
encounter alone. The Commission’s enquiry is based on the responses of
the following officers of the Delhi Police:
1) R.P. Upadhayay, Additional Commissioner of Police, Vigilance;
2) Satish Chandra, Special Commissioner of Police (Vigilance), Delhi;
3) Neeraj Thakur, DCP (Crime & Rly.), Delhi;
4) Karnail Singh, Joint Commissioner of Police, Special Cell, Delhi.
As it appears from the Report, the
Commission did not even bother to pay a visit to the Batla House locality
and Flat No. 108, L-18, the site of the said encounter. There has been no
attempt to collect the versions of the eyewitnesses, neighbours or
relatives of those killed. The Fact-finding reports of various civil
rights groups including JTSG’s Encounter at Batla House: Unanswered
Questions, a damning indictment of the police version with
corroborative evidence has been given no cognizance.
Applications filed by individuals from Azamgarh
wishing to depose before the Commission were ignored and not even
The Commission also cites the post
mortem reports of the deceased, which have thus far been treated as state
secrets. While wounds suffered by the slain police officer has been
provided with great detail such as the places in the body where bullet
injuries were found, their impact, ‘entry and exit points’ etc. Even the
injury suffered in the arm by injured Constable Balwant Singh carries all
this information but the same treatment is curiously absent in the case of
Atif and Sajid, the slain ‘terrorists’. It mentions the injuries and
bullet entry wounds on Atif’s and Sajid’s bodies but refuses to consider
the fact that Sajid had several bullet wounds on his forehead and head
regions, which suggests that he was shot while made to crouch or squat.
Further, in both Atif and Sajid’s
case, the postmorten report mentions ‘several ante-mortem injuries
including firearm wounds’. This only suggests that there were at least
a few ‘non-firearm wound’. In what circumstances were these caused?
The enquiry team provides us with no explanation. In the absence of any
description, the suspicion that they could have been tortured before
being encountered gets strengthened.
In the police’s defence, it cites
the serological report which says that the blood group matching that of
Atif, Sajid and Balwant Singh (the police man who was injured in the 19th
September operation) was found on the floor, gate, drawing room, walls,
gate and furniture of the flat No. L 18. So
what does this prove or disprove? Except that two people were killed and
another injured. But most interestingly, it does not mention at all
whether the blood matching the blood group of Inspector Sharma was found
in the flat.
This is glaring as the Commission’s
report in the very next few paragraphs confidently corroborates the police
version that a “volley of bullets was fired on the police team as soon as
it entered Flat no 108, L-18..through the side gate. …” If Balwant Singh
was “also with Inspector Sharma” and sustained bullet injuries leading to
the spilling of blood mentioned in the serological report, how is the
serological report completely silent on the blood of Inspector Sharma?
The weapons which killed Inspector
Sharma, W/2 and W/3, according the Commission, belonged to no one in the
police party, and were therefore quite obviously it concludes, the
possessions of the slain youth, Atif and Sajid. The NHRC here places an
implicit faith in the Delhi Police, and chooses to ignore what the civil
rights activists have been saying from day one, that no panchnama or
seizure list was prepared in the presence of any independent witnesses, as
is procedurally required.
It also refuses to comment on
questions being raised on the police claim that two alleged terrorists
escaped during the operation, declaring it to be beyond the scope of its
enquiry. In fact, it seems to be accepting the police version that ‘each
flat has two doors and a crowd had gathered outside at the time when the
exchange of fire was on’. Going by the police version the NHRC concludes,
‘in the melee it was possible for some persons to escape’. But the
contradiction in the police report itself is not taken note wherein it is
claimed that while Inspector Sharma led a few staff inside the building,
the rest of the team members were guarding the ground floor. Now, had the
NHRC team visited the site, it would have noticed that even if the flats
have two gates, but the entry gate to the building is only one, on the
ground floor and that was being manned by the police party. The residents
of the other flats had been told to stay inside, but this again could be
gathered only if the NHRC team had recorded the eyewitness accounts.
How could it be possible for the two alleged ‘terrorists’ to flee?
The NHRC has conveniently skirted
all uncomfortable questions in its urgent rush to declare the innocence of
the Delhi Police. Coming as it does, in the wake of the botched up
enquiry into the Shopian rape and murder case, raises serious doubts over
the credibility of enquiry commissions and bodies such as the NHRC. By
ignoring all contrary voices, the NHRC has proved itself to be a
propaganda arm of the state, and not the independent custodian of human
rights of the country’s citizens, as it was created to be.
All those interested in the
pursuance of truth and justice, reject this farcical, partisan and
shameful mockery of an enquiry.
We reiterate our demand for an
impartial judicial enquiry by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court to look
into the entire issue emerging from the Batla House encounter.
Tanweer Fazal, Farah Farooqui,
Ghazi Shahnawaz, Harris, Ahmed Sohaib (Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Group)
Mahtab Alam (APCR)
Aslam Khan (AISA, Jamia )
Issued by University Community
Students and Teachers of University of Delhi