Batla House activists may do an Anna
OT, September 20, 2011 IST
Okhla Times Reporter/Okhla
The last three days have been a busy one for the security forces, residents and activists in Batla House. A few rallies were taken out and corner meetings held on the third anniversary of Batla House encounter to mount pressure on the government to do justice and release youth arrested on blast charges. Civil, human rights groups and a few residents were seen busy drumming up support of the residents, who many among them first-hand had witnessed the shootout unfold at L-18 on September 19, 2008, in which the police had claimed to have gunned down two members of the banned Indian Mujahideen, Atif Ameen and Mohammad Sajid. The police force that had swooped down on the locality to arrest alleged IM men mostly from Azamgarh had also lost inspector Mohan Chand Sharma in the shootout.
Since then some locals and activists have been demanding a judicial probe, with little success. On September 19, members of Ulema Council sat on a demonstration at Jantar Mantar, demanding justice. Though everything has passed on peacefully, but local anger against the government remains over its failure to start a judicial probe in the shootout. A few supporters of a political party were also arrested at Holy Family Hospital while trying to march to Batla House on September 19.
On September 18, a procession that had started from Khalilluha mosque, Batla House at about 1:30 PM for the PMO was stopped at the JMI campus by the Delhi police. Many leaders in the demonstration addressed the modest gathering.
We demand immediate delivery of justice from the P.M.O, of India so that faith of the common people could be restored the judiciary, according to a press release issued by the protesting group.
The release further noted that Batla House encounter has been termed fake encounter by many organizations and forensic reports too suggest the fact. “The UPA Government is scared that if the truth comes out, they will be exposed,” adds the release.
Participants also demanded that all youth wrongly framed in the case be freed immediately.
Activists Syed Anwar Kaifee says: “This is not the end. We will meet again to chalk out future strategy. We may go for hunger strike as Anna Hazare did so that to force the government to deliver justice.”
Former Tehelka journalist Ajit Sahi, Outlook senior reporter Saba Naqvi and others are expected to address a crowd at Khalilluah mosque around 4:30 PM on September 20, claims Rajan, an AISA member and a JNU research scholar.
He was at Batla House at around 8:30 PM on September 19 with a few local AISA members convincing locals to turn up in huge numbers. “We will continue our battle till we win,” he says.
The police too are on high alert with security beefed up at Batla House and New Friends' Colony Community Centre from day one of the movement. On Saturday and Sunday a large number of security forces were seen in the locality. Two main entrances at NFC Community Centre were barricaded. Batla House was turned into a fortress. Constable Bheem Singh, who was patrolling at the entrance of Batla House with his colleagues, says: “We are here to make sure that no untoward incidents take place.”
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