Delhi court awards death penalty to Ariz Khan in the infamous 2008 Batla House encounter

A Delhi court on Monday awarded death penalty to Ariz Khan, who was convicted for the murder of a police inspector in the infamous 2008 Batla House encounter. The court called the case as “rarest of rare case” while pronouncing the judgement.

The police had sought death penalty for Khan on the plea that it was not just any killing but a murder of a law enforcement officer who was a defender of justice. Khan’s counsel had opposed the death penalty and said the incident was not premeditated.

Khan had fled from the spot and was declared a proclaimed offender. He was arrested on February 14, 2018, after being on the run for a decade.

On September 19, 2008, a week after serial blasts tore through the Capital, the police stormed into a house in a congested locality searching for terrorists. What followed has been written into contemporary history as the ‘Batla House encounter' that polarised the city, caused a media frenzy and was even cinematically recreated in Bollywood.

The case stirred a political storm, led to rights activists questioning the actions of Special Cell officers; it was even suggested that the encounter of the IM terrorists was staged.

The incident gained traction in political discourse because it was a matter involving national security and deeply polarising. The divisive undercurrents became a part of the political landscape thereafter.

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