Residents of the predominantly Muslim area said that they still do not believe the police theory that amid the heavy gunfire, Shahzad had fled from the fourth floor of the flat where the encounter had taken place.
    
"We are not at all happy with the court verdict. There were so many loopholes in police's theory that Shahzad had fled from the spot," said Irfan, a resident of the Batla House locality.
    
Another resident Illiyas said majority of the residents in the area were saddened by the verdict. "We are sad. Majority of the people in the area are upset by the court judgement. But I am not surprised over the verdict," he said, adding the police theory of Shahzad fleeing the encounter spot cannot be believed.
    
"There were policemen at the front gate of the building. So how could Shahzad flee from the spot? We cannot believe his," he said. When reporters visited the locality after the court verdict, some residents were even hostile to them and refused to answer questions on the issue.
    
"We always demanded a judicial probe into the encounter. But the government never heeded to our demand despite there being so many gaps in police's claim," said Manzoor Alam.
    
Another resident Salim said the court verdict came as ‘expected’. "We were expecting the same judgement. There is nothing new in it, as the government had turned down the demand for a judicial commission saying it would affect the morale of police. Had the verdict been opposite, then what would have happened to the morale of Delhi Police. It is very well understood," he said.
    
Suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorist Shahzad Ahmad was convicted by a court for murdering Special Cell Inspector MC Sharma in September 19, 2008 Batla House encounter, an incident Congress leader Digvijay Singh had dubbed it as fake triggering a major controversy.

(Agencies)

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