Thursday, March 25, 2010

Batla autopsy blasts police version of encounter: Prashant Bhushan

Batla autopsy blasts police version of encounter: Prashant Bhushan

By Mumtaz Alam Falahi,,

New Delhi: Eminent Supreme Court lawyer and human rights activist Prashant Bhushan says the post-mortem report of slain terror suspects Atif Ameen and Mohd Sajid of Batla House encounter has blasted the police version about the encounter. Talking to Mumtaz Alam Falahi of in his Supreme Court chamber today, Bhushan, who is defense lawyer of some Delhi serial blast accused, said he will consider if a fresh or review petition needs to be filed in the Batla case.

What is your first reaction at the Batla House post-mortem report?

It’s absolutely clear from the report that the police’s story about the encounter is totally false. It is obvious from three things. First, the wounds on the body of Atif Ameen show burning and tattooing marks around some of the gunshot wounds which show that at least those bullets had been fired from very close range – at the range of not more than six inches. This is completely different from the police version of the encounter where they said these people were at the other side of the room and from where they were firing etc.

Secondly, there are marks showing there are multiple blunt injuries, abrasions on their body, which were prior to the shooting. This clearly indicates that these boys had been dragged across the floor, beaten up or tortured before they were shot.

Thirdly, the wounds on Mohd Sajid’s body show that there are four bullet holes on top of his head. This can hardly happen in an encounter.

Apart from that there are some other glaring problems with the police version. They said two of the boys escaped, which is impossible if seven police officers were just outside the flat which has only one exit. All of these officers were armed and yet two escaped, it is unbelievable. Besides, there were another team of six people on the ground floor. How can the two terrorists escape them?

Despite these glaring holes in the police version of the encounter, the government and even courts have not permitted judicial probe into it, why?

Unfortunately when the High Court was examining the matter to decide whether a judicial probe should be ordered or not, they first asked National Human Rights Commission to make a report, and unfortunately the NHRC gave a report without really critically examining the evidence, without examining any of the residents of the area and without giving any opportunity to the families of these boys to know whatever they knew about it. The Commission just followed the police version. The High Court probably felt diffident in debunking the report of NHRC because some of the judges who sit in NHRC are former judges or at least one judge of the Supreme Court. To my mind the report was totally absurd.

As you are fighting for two Delhi blast accused of Azamgarh, how will you use this autopsy report to strengthen your point?

We will seriously consider whether a fresh petition needs to be filed or whether a review petition needs to be filed in the matter. We will take a decision.

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