Who is Ariz Khan?
Ariz Khan is an Indian Mujahideen terrorist, convicted in the killing of a police officer in the 2008 Batla House encounter in Delhi famously known as Batla House Encounter Case. Ariz Khan is also the alleged mastermind of the 2008 serial blasts across Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh.
Ariz Khan is a BTech graduate from Muzaffaranagar’s SD College, and an explosives expert. He was inculcated into the jihadi network by Atif Amin, who died in the Delhi shootout. After the 2008 blasts, he had shifted his base to Nepal and acquired a Nepal passport under the name Salim. He opened a restaurant there and also taught students.
During his Nepal days, he came in contact with Riyaz Bhatkal who then inspired him to relaunch Indian Mujahideen. In 2014, he visited Saudi Arabia, looking to strengthen the terror organization, and interacted with many IM and Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) personnel.
In 2017, Khan returned from Saudi Arabia to lay the groundwork for IM’s revival. He was visiting India on February 13, 2018, when he was arrested at the Banbasa border point between India and Nepal. The police got a whiff of his plans through SIMI activist Abdul Suhan who had been arrested a month earlier.
Five bombs had exploded on September 13, 2008 at Connaught Place, Karol Bagh, Greater Kailash and India Gate, leading to registration of five cases. The Indian Mujahideen had taken responsibility for the blasts. A team under the supervision of Inspector Sharma was set up to probe the case and trace the perpetrators. The encounter took place on September 19 after the police received information about the presence of suspects at a flat in Batla House. The police had conducted the raid at the flat to trace and look out for a user of one mobile number.
When the police tried to enter the flat, a gunfight ensued leading to injuries to Inspector Sharma and Head Constable Balwant Singh.
Batla house encounter timeline:
September 19, 2008: Encounter at L-18 Batla House in Jamia Nagar.
January 1, 2010: Shahzad Ahmed arrested from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh.
April 2010: Chargesheet in the case by Delhi Police at a Delhi court. Ariz Khan is declared a proclaimed offender.
February 15, 2011: Court frames charges of murder, conspiracy, attempt to murder, and various other Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections against Shahzad.
July 29, 2013: Court holds Shahzad guilty of murdering inspector Sharma and assaulting other police officers. He is sentenced to life imprisonment.
February 14, 2018: Ariz Khan arrested by Delhi Police near Nepal border.
March 15, 2021: Ariz Khan convicted by Delhi court and sentenced to death