Islamic Terrorism in India

Most Muslims are not terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims

Jamia encounter: Delhi Police respond to questions

Posted by jagoindia on October 21, 2008


ENCOUNTER: QUESTIONS AND COUNTER-QUESTIONS
Express news service,  Oct 09, 2008

How did the police pinpoint the exact location in the crowded neighbourhood of Jamia Nagar?
The Delhi Police claim that it was based on the analyses of phone calls. First, there were calls from Jamia Nagar PCOs to Ahmedabad numbers. Then, the Gujarat Police passed on a number to the intelligence agencies and the Delhi Police. The number under surveillance belonged to Atif Ameen. With advanced technology, it is not difficult to identify the exact location of a caller under surveillance. Though Delhi Police say their raid had nothing to do with it, Mufti Abu Bashar was taken on September 18 to the areas where he lived during his Delhi stay. Jamia Nagar was among them. To reconfirm the presence of the cell phone under surveillance at L-18, a Special Cell Sub-Inspector, Dharminder Kumar, had made a recce, posing as a Vodafone salesperson.

Why did a veteran of encounters like M C Sharma not wear a bullet-proof vest?
One, the police did not expect an encounter at L-18. What they were sure of was that there were people somehow linked to the blasts, or who were in touch with those who were responsible. The presence of armed terrorists, in fact, took them by surprise.

Two, wearing bullet-proof jackets and entering a crowded locality would alert the suspects and would give them time to escape.

If the police had known about the presence of armed terrorists inside, they would have gone with a much bigger team for the operation. “He (Sharma) was not a novice… He would not go wearing a bullet-proof jacket there as he knew that those hiding might get alerted,” Joint Commissioner of Police (JCP) Karnal Singh said.

Was Sharma shot in a friendly fire?
Since they were not anticipating an encounter, the question of a policeman firing first does not arise . As the sequence of events, and the photographs taken by a freelancer later suggest, his colleagues immediately rushed Sharma downstairs.

The initial x-ray at the hospital showed that bullets had exited his body. As per a press statement issued by the hospital at 5 pm, he was in critical condition and had been shot on his left shoulder, left arm, left abdomen and right hip. He was operated upon as his intestine had ruptured and soon shifted to a ventilator. Sharma was declared dead at 7.

Was Balwant Rana actually injured?
The bullet injury in his right arm had broken his bones into small pieces, leaving an inch-long gap between the bones. “We had to remove the fragments as the bones were broken in really small pieces and had no chance of healing. To fill the gap, we grafted a bone from his pelvis,” said Dr Vijay Sharma, assistant professor, Department of Orthopaedics, AIIMS Trauma Centre.

How did two of the terrorists manage to escape?
Addressing a press conference hours after the encounter, JCP Karnal Singh said that the two terrorists escaped in the melee after Inspector Sharma was shot. The team that went in for the operation had only eight men. Two of them were shot at: Sharma and Head Constable Balwant Rana. Two colleagues rushed Sharma to the car. There was chaos all around and the two people guarding the entrance too escorted him till the car parked at the end of the street.

Only two policemen were upstairs at the two-room flat in which the suspected terrorists were hiding. That was when the two managed to escape through the only staircase to the flat.

Why did the alleged terrorists buy SIM cards in their names?
Police officials have explained that all the young members of Indian Mujahideen were overconfident that they would not be caught. Reasons: they believed that police could not trace them because they did not have any criminal record. This was revealed in their interrogation. They did not even leave the area after the encounter.

So far, what is the corroborative evidence?
From the flat, the police recovered a bucket in which the bombs were kept, the adhesive tape used to seal the explosives and the bag used to transport the bombs from Udupi to Delhi. They also recovered laptops which had five clips of the blast sites in Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Delhi. The police also found fake voter IDs in the names of Rahul Sharma and Pankaj Kumar and train tickets to Udupi.

The Delhi Police have also found records of Mohammad Saif’s stay in Hotel Broadway in Udupi under the name of Rahul Sharma. There are records for the calls he made from a PCO near the hotel. The police had also recovered one AK-47 and two pistols from the flat.

Police officers have one last question for all those doubting the encounter: Would any police team leave a live witness (Mohammed Saif who was arrested) for a fake encounter?

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