Post Mortem Reports Underline Unanswered Questions

[Long-suppressed post mortem reports of Atif Ameen and Md. Sajid, killed by the police in an alleged 'encounter' in the Batla House have finally come out in the public domain. They underline the crucial unanswered questions which the various police versions beg, chiefly: what accounts for the preponderance of injuries in the back and top of the head, as well as for multiple bruises and abrasions on the bodies of the slain young men? The following is from a statement by the Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association.]

The NHRC has released the documents (including post mortem reports) which formed the basis of its conclusion that the Batla House ‘encounter’ was genuine. Thus far, the Delhi Police and AIIMS (which conducted the post mortem) have declined to provide information citing 8 (1) b and 8 (1) h of the RTI Act. It should be noted that when the RTI was filed the first time by RTI activist and Jamia student Afroze Alam Sahil, a few days after the ‘encounter’, there was no direction from the court that such information be withheld. Indeed, frustrated by the Police’s refusal to part with the post mortem report, the Central Information Commission directed the Delhi Police to submit all documents pertaining to the Batla House Encounter before it by March 5, 2009 for inspection by the bench" so that it could examine whether the information could be made public. The Delhi Police instead rushed to the High Court, challenging this directive, feigning that such information would be detrimental to investigations. The High Court stayed the CIC directive on 1 April 2009.

Meanwhile, the NHRC in its ‘enquiry’, extensively cited the postmortem report of Inspector Sharma to prove that he had been fired upon by alleged terrorists. Wounds suffered by the slain police officer were described in great detail such as the places in the body where bullet injuries were found, their impact, ‘entry and exit points’ etc. Even the injury suffered in the arm by injured Constable Balwant Singh carried all this information but the same treatment is curiously absent in the case of Atif and Sajid, the slain ‘terrorists’. That strategic silence in the NHRC report is all the more intriguing in the light of the uncomfortable facts to which the post mortem reports bear witness.

The post mortem report shows that:

Atif Ameen sustained injuries on right knee cap: injuries "produced by blunt force impact by object or surface”; grazing effects in the interscapular region or back region in layperson’s terms; multiple abrasions on right buttock.

Moreover almost all (8 out of 10) the gunshot entry wounds on the body of Atif Ameen are on the back side, in the region below the shoulders and at the back of the chest, which point to the fact that he was repeatedly shot from behind. Another gunshot entry wound is on the inner side of the left thigh but suspiciously, the trajectory of the shot is in the upward direction, thus suggesting that in this case the shot was fired from below. What caused the unusually large wound of 5 x 2.2 cm? Why were metallic objects present in the left thigh?

17-year-old Md Sajid also displayed at least two injuries which had been caused by blunt force impact by object or surface.”  The gunshot injuries received by Sajid are on the right frontal region of the scalp (forehead); right forehead; tip of the right shoulder (going vertically downwards); back of the left side chest (12 cm from root of neck); and left side of occiput (in layperson's terms, back portion of the head).

The entry points of each of these gunshot wounds—and the fact that all but one bullet is travelling in a downward direction—strongly suggests that he was held down by force (which also explain the injuries on the back and leg region), while bullets were pumped down his forehead, back and head.  In which genuine cross fire do people receive injuries only in the back and head region??

The all-important question is at why the NHRC deliberately ignored this incriminating and suggestive evidence? In its refusal to pursue any contrary line of investigation, it has proved itself to be in collusion with the Delhi Police, discarding even the minimum pretence of impartiality.

However, the post mortem report is only one of the documents that been released by the NHRC to the appellant Afroze Alam. It includes, in addition, statements by senior police officers and a “Note on Investigation of the Serial Blasts at Delhi” (which became the basis for NHRC’s report and also the LG’s decision that no magisterial probe was required into the encounter’).

The Note on Investigation is high on allegations but cipher on any hard evidence. Some of the important points it makes to buttress its claims about Indian Mujaheddin and Atif Amin’s terror links include a cell phone number 9811004309, claimed to be at the heart of the investigations. According to the police, this number was in touch with three cell numbers from Gujarat, which were under surveillance by Gujarat Police following the Ahmedabad blasts (which took place on 26th July 2008). Further, this number was found to be present near Nizamuddin station on 21st July 2008, from where according to the police, ‘terrorists’ booked train tickets for Ahmedabad. According to the police, the cell number belonged Md. Atif Amin and the police even lists how this cell number was switched off on 23rd September 2007 (UP court blasts).

However, by the police’s own admission in the Note, this number came to be acquired by Atif Amin on 11th August 2008 (much after UP court blasts and after Ahmedabad blasts and the supposed booking of train tickets at Nizamuddin station). Atif got this number as a post paid connection on 11th Aug and all the address details furnished by him were found to be true (that is how the police arrived at L-18 on 19th September 2008 in the first place).

So the only piece of evidence that the police had to nail down Atif Amin was his cell number, which he did not even possess at the time the Gujarat Police was tracking it. None of the material and evidence supposedly seized by the police has any procedural validity (The Note even fails to mention where most of the material has been seized from).

In light of these revelations and in the persistent refusal of the NHRC to take into account evidence which vitiates the Delhi Police claims that the ‘encounter’ was genuine, it is urgent that a judicial probe be ordered into the Batla House ‘encounter’. All those arguing that judicial probes are protracted and futile exercises are simple asking us to forget that two young men were killed under highly mysterious circumstances, and given that a separate FIR has not even been filed in the case of their killings, nor a magisterial probe conducted, as required under NHRC guidelines, a time bound judicial probe is the only solution.


Manisha Sethi, Adeel Mehdi, Tanweer Fazal, Ahmed Sohaib, Ghazi Shahnawaz, Azra Razaak,. Farah Farooqi, Sanghamitra Misra, Anwar Alam, Arshad Alam, Shakeb Ahmed, Amarien Al qadar, Haris ul Haq and others…


AISA team visits Azamgarh

A three member team from AISA Jamia and Allahabad University visited Azamgarh on 16th and 17th March 2010 in order to ascertain the facts behind the recent spate of arrests of alleged members of Indian Mujahideen. The Delhi police and the UP ATS have alleged that the arrested youth, Shahzad and Salman, were involved in the various bombings across Indian cities since 2007. It may be recalled that Azamgarh has been stigmatized as an epicenter of terror ever since scores of its youth were arrested in the aftermath of the Batla House ‘encounter’.

The team met with a wide cross-section of people in Azamgarh (including Khalispur and Sanjarpur), including university teachers, lawyers, friends and relatives of the arrested youth. They also visited the homes of Shahzad and Salman. They found that people were not convinced about the guilt of the arrested boys as their conduct had been impeccable and they had no criminal record. There was also a very strong resentment against the manner in which the police and administration were deploying massive police force in the town and Muslim-dominated villages of the district, for instance when Shahzad was taken to Azamgarh after his arrest. Such exercises were creating a communal polarization and fanning a fear psychosis. The team noted that there was an increasing unwillingness of parents to send their wards to Delhi or other cities for education, for fear that they might be targeted by police and security agencies. This will exclude Muslim youth from Azamgarh from education itself.

The team noted that the Congress, following Digvijay Singh’s visit to Azamgarh, had been spreading a malicious propaganda against the long-standing demand for judicial enquiry into the ‘encounter’ on grounds that it would be long-drawn and futile. AISA strongly condemned this propaganda, and in the light of the post mortem reports of the Batla House 'encounter' reiterated the demand for a judicial enquiry. The real face of the Congress has been exposed - which while pretending to reach out to the people of Azamgarh, is itself manufacturing opposition to the demand for judicial probe, even as arrests of innocents and minors continue unabated.

The team made the following demands:

1) Judicial enquiry into the Batla House ‘encounter’

2) Clubbing of all blasts cases and fast tracking of the trials.

3) All police officers guilty of framing innocent Muslim youth in terror charges must be punished.

4) Protection must be provided to lawyers defending terror accused. An enquiry must be ordered into Shahid Azmi’s murder.


Aslam Khan (National Vice President, AISA)

Ramayan Ram (State Secretary, UP AISA)

Zarin Khan and Md. Sameer

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