The Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative, Ariz Khan alias Junaid, wanted in 2005 Delhi serial blast case and who was arrested by National Investigation Agency (NIA) earlier this year has reportedly provided and eyewitness account of the Batla House encounter that took place in Delhi in 2008, killing Delhi Police’s encounter specialist Mohan Chand Sharma. In February 2012, former Union Minister and Congress leader Salman Khurshid had famously said that former Congress President Sonia Gandhi was ‘moved to tears‘ after seeing the pictures of Batla House encounter. Many Congress leaders and Jama Masjid’s Shahi Imam had also called the encounter fake.
However, during interrogation with the NIA, Junaid has reportedly told the that he was at the Batla House when the encounter took place along with Shahzad Ahmed alias Pappu and Mohammaded Saif. He told the interrogators that he was woken up by policemen and brought to the hall where he saw two policemen covering Atif and Shahzad. Two other policemen were watching over Saif and Chota Sajid. Atif and Sajid were killed in the firing that ensued while Junaid managed to escape.
Confirming that the encounter was not not a fake one, Junaid told the interrogators, that it was the IM operatives who opened fire at the police which in turn returned fire. He further confirmed that the 2005 serial blasts in Delhi was carried out with help of Pakistan along with homegrown terror outfits. He confessed that he was key conspirator in almost 32 cases and was involved in almost all major blasts in India between 2005 and 2008 including Delhi (2005), Varanasi (2006), Uttar Pradesh (2007), Jaipur (2008) and Delhi again (2008).
Reports also say that after escaping Batla House during the encounter, he moved to UP, Rajasthan and later in Maharashtra before escaping to Nepal where he assumed citizenship and obtained passport in name of Salman Khan. He was working as a teacher along with one Abdul Subhan, another mastermind, when he came in touch with Riyaz Bhatkal, IM’s co-founder. He later moved to Saudi Arabia where he tried to raise funds for the operations.