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Was Batla encounter real?

By: Mohit Sharma    

IM e-mail mentions those killed in the shootout

The shooting of foreign tourists at Jama Masjid on Sunday had Delhi Police on its toes. With the Commonwealth Games just a fortnight away, the incident came as a shock to the cops with the security scenario in the national capital under the international scanner owing to the mega sporting event.

However, there might a silver lining too for the men in khaki. An e-mail purportedly sent by the Indian Mujahideen claiming responsibility for the attack mentions two terrorists killed in the Batla House encounter that occurred on the same date two years ago.

Aspersions were cast on the way the shootout was carried out with a number of politicians, media and civil society outfits accusing the Delhi Police of carrying out a fake encounter.

But the e-mail sent by the terrorist outfit might provide a shot in the arm for the cops, as it clearly says that the attack was launched to take revenge for the killing of their comrades - Atif Ameen and Mohmmad Sajid.
The e-mail, sent to the BBC and Mumbai ATS, mentions both as 'Shaheed' or martyrs.

"In the name of Allah we dedicate this attack of retribution to martyrs, Shaheed Atif Amin and Shaheed Mohammad Sajid who proudly laid down their lives valiantly fighting the idol worshippers Delhi police on this day. Surely each and every drop of their blood brought a new life in the Muslim community and this is confirmed from the fact that Indian Mujahideen have swelled unexpectedly manifold," the e-mail stated.

"They wanted to avenge the Batla house encounter and had planned accordingly but fortunately some timers failed which they had used in the cooker bomb and it did not go off. It only proves that the Batla gunbattle was not a fake," a senior Delhi police officer said.

Delhi Police PRO Rajan Bhagat said, "We are trying to find the origin of the e-mail and nothing else can be said at this point of time." 

Police sources said investigations into Sunday's incident have revealed that one of  the timers of the cooker bomb planted in a car was timed at exactly 11.37 am, the time when the Batla encounter had taken place.
"Two timers were set so as to ensure that even if one malfunctions, the other takes it off. The explosive-laden device was planted in a car which was parked near a transformer near Jama Masjid and the car had around 20 litres of fuel in its tank and if it had exploded, the situation would have been different," the sources said. 

The Delhi police have sent a letter to the ballistic experts seeking records of cases in which 9mm and .38 bore magazines were used to analyse the recovered items and involvement of assailants who opened fire outside gate number 3 of Jama Masjid on Sunday injuring two Taiwanese nationals.  
"The Deputy Commissioner of Police, central district, Jaspal Singh has sent a written request to FSL, Rohini seeking a detailed report about the magazine and ammunition rounds recovered from the spot and also a list of cases in which 9 mm and .38 bore rounds were used," the sources said.