Patrolling heightened in Jamia Nagar a week before the encounter, say residents who saw shootout
By Karanjeet Kaur in New Delhi
TWO eyewitnesses of the September 19 Special Cell action at Jamia Nagar have presented a version of the event that is at complete variance with what has been offered by the Delhi Police.
Their reconstruction of the event, which indicates a scuffle had probably taken place before the shots were fired, may also explain why Jamia Nagar residents are not buying the police theory that the team led by Inspector M. C. Sharma had either eliminated or arrested the men allegedly behind the bomb blasts in Delhi, Ahmedabad and Jaipur.
This version, given to MAIL TODAY on the condition of anonymity, squares up with the hitherto unreported autopsy report on Sharma and the nature of the wounds on the bodies of the two young men killed by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police. The autopsy report on Sharma, which is with Headlines Today , says he was shot at
from extremely close range, no more than a few centimetres from him. He was hit by three bullets.
of them entered through the back and followed top- to- down trajectory.
The body of one of the ‘ terrorists’ bears injury marks, sharp wounds and multiple internal injuries in the stomach. Doctors say such injuries usually attributed to a scuffle, actually a violent physical assault. Someone may even have stamped on him. His flatmate Mohammed Sajid, also dead, was apparently shot in the head. Could death too have occurred during the scuffle? Further, could Inspector Sharma have been injured during the fisticuffs that ensued between alleged Delhi bombers and the policemen who were raiding supposed terrorist hideouts? Is it possible that he suffered the injuries when a bullets went off accidentally during the scuffle? There is no way to find out the kind of bullet injury that Sharma suffered. No bullets were found on his body during his autopsy. The medical bulletin of Holy Family Hospital, where he was taken first, said no “ foreign bodies” were found in chest and abdomen.
Mail Today took exhaustive eyewitness accounts the police action on September 19 to unravel events of the morning of September 19. Eyewitnesses, who live in the immediate vicinity of L- Batla House – the alleged IM hideout – said the Special Cell team that raided the scene of action brought two young men to the ground floor from their fourth- floor flat. They had a verbal altercation with the two men and killed them after some them realised Sharma had been shot.
Jamia Nagar residents had been seeing heightened activity by policemen in civilian clothes for about a week before the police action. Yet, they were taken aback when a group of policemen in civvies surrounded L- 18, Batla House, on September 19, for they had not seen any suspicious activity in their building. It is hard to keep secrets in the rabbit war- of apartment blocks in Jamia Nagar.
member of the Special Cell first went up to the fourth- floor flat occupied by Atif and Sajid, pretending to a cellphone salesman. The young men inside the flat did not receive the undercover policeman cordially. They entered into an argument with subinspector Dharmender, who was pretending to be the salesman.
All this took place in front of the neighbours, who had come out onto the balconies of their flats on hearing the commotion.
Reacting immediately when the arguments started, the policemen waiting downstairs rushed up.
None of them had their guns out.
Clearly, they were not expecting any armed resistance. One of the men, whom the eyewitnesses were able to identify after seeing his images on television, was Sharma.
Speaking from behind a grill that covers the fourth- floor staircase at L- Sharma yelled at all the neighbours who had come out of their houses to go indoors because they could get hurt in the “ firing”. Residents of the area followed his instructions.
But the eyewitnesses, being quoted by Mail Today, watched the goings- on from behind their toilet windows.
The saw only two men in the flat.
That leaves the man who was arrested from the spot, Mohammed Saif, and the two men who reportedly escaped during the police action unaccounted for.
They saw Sharma’s men drag Atif and Sajid to the ground floor landing.
The two men, who were subsequently killed, appeared to be in panic and unarmed at the time. No one could see what happened thereafter as the partly covered ground floor landing was not in their line of vision.
The eyewitnesses could hear the policemen hurling abuses at the two young men. This was followed by gunshots.
Then someone shouted, “ Sahab ko goli lag gayi ( the boss has been hit).” The young men could not be heard in this commotion. After some time, the eyewitnesses hear more gunshots. The policemen came into the view of our eyewitnesses.
They were dragging the bodies of the two men upstairs.
Around the same time, they saw sub- inspector Dharmender, and another policeman leading Sharma out of the building. The eyewitness couldn’t figure out the extent of Sharma’s injury from what they saw.
The bodies of the two young men, meanwhile, were dragged up to their flat by the policemen. Then they wrapped the bodies with cloth.
According to the eyewitnesses, after the two bodies were taken away and piled into a police van, a group of policemen materialised out of the blue with three young men they had rounded up, seemingly from within the L- 18 flats. They were unable to make out where the men came from. One of them, it appears now, was Mohammed Saif. He is now in police custody.
This reconstruction by the eyewitnesses poses some questions. Why did the two young men, and their alleged accomplices, not flee the scene or clean up their laptops even after everyone in the neighbourhood was aware of the heightened police presence in the area? Why did the policemen not have their guns out when they rushed up to the flat after the argument broke out between sub- inspector Dharmender and the two men? Was Sharma shot at by the alleged terrorists, or was he a victim of collateral damage because he happened to be in the line of a ricocheting bullet?