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The Kingpin Of The Batla House Encounter Has Been Arrested; Here's How It Happened And Why It's Important

Shawan Sen |

Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma's Ashok Chakra citation read: "Mohan Chand Sharma showed exemplary courage and devotion to duty in fighting terrorists and made the supreme sacrifice for the nation." Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma had received a specific input that terrorists were residing in the top floor Flat No 108 of L-18, Batla House. After discussions with senior Delhi Police officers, Inspector Sharma along with 20 others headed out for an audacious attack. A recce was done before the raid where Delhi police officers posed as Vodafone representatives. Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma acted immediately after a confirmation came in that terrorists were hiding in Batla House.

What followed thereafter was a complete politicisation of the Batla House encounter with political leaders calling it a "fake encounter". But on Wednesday, the Delhi Police Special Cell arrested the most dreaded and wanted terrorist Ariz Khan alias 'Junaid' who opened fire on Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma and then fled from the spot. The Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorist was wanted by National Investigating Agency, Delhi Police, Gujarat Police, Rajasthan Police and U.P. Police and was carrying a bounty of over Rs 15 lakh on his head. As the Delhi Police Special Police puts it, he is responsible for the death of around 165 Indians.

HOW WAS HE ARRESTED

The Delhi Police Special Cell received credible inputs following the interrogation of another dreaded IM terrorist Abdul Subhan Qureishi alias Tauqeer. What was underway was something that certainly had security agencies very worried -- the revival of the Indian Mujahideen. Delhi Special Cell gathered that absconding terrorists of IM/SIMI had set up their base in Nepal and were frequently visiting India to indoctrinate unemployed youth to fill the void left after top leaders of IM were arrested.

After the Batla House encounter, Ariz Khan spent a month in India before slipping into Nepal. A few days ago, Delhi Special Cell received inputs that Ariz was coming to UP from Banbasa, Indo-Nepal border. On February 13, Special Cell laid a trap near Banbasa and arrested Ariz.

HOW IMPORTANT IS THE CATCH

It's amply clear that Ariz Khan was working clandestinely to revive Indian Mujahideen. He was, in, fact arrested when he was planning to meet some IM sympathisers in Uttar Pradesh. From 2014-2017, he was in Saudi Arabia meeting SIMI / IM sympathisers while using a cover of a labourer.

Ariz was one of the chief conspirators and executioner of various bombing incidents carried out by IM. "He is an expert bomb maker. He conspired and planned Delhi, Jaipur and Ahmedabad bomb blasts," said Pramod Kushwah, DCP, Delhi Special Cell.

ISIS LINKS

Delhi Police Special Cell hasn't ruled out the ISIS link so far since they believe that some of his associates had joined ISIS. "It's at the initial stage. Cannot deny or confirm at this stage. But his associates have joined ISIS," said Kushwah.

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