1. Why did the Police Raid Batla House?
The story begins six days before Encounter Batla House commenced. On 13 September 2008, a series of five low-intensity bombs ripped through Delhi, killing 30 people and injuring 90. This, within months of similar blasts in Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Bangalore.
The bombs went off within a span of half an hour at popular shopping locations, teeming with people on a weekend. Two exploded in Connaught Place, two in Greater Kailash’s M Block Market and one in the extremely crowded Ghaffar market in Karol Bagh. Three unexploded bombs were defused when people called in, to report unidentified objects. One of them was even meant to explode at a children’s park.
On 13 September 2008, ten minutes after the first bomb went off in Ghaffar Market at 6:10 PM, IM sent out an email taking credit. It was titled “The Message of Death” and said: “In the name of Allah, Indian Mujahideen strikes back once more [...] Do whatever you can. Stop us if you can.”
IM had been pegged as the perpetrators of serial bomb blasts in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Mumbai the same year. The pressure on the states’ police to nab them and bring justice to the victims’ families was real. So, a week later when they received an intelligence lead on the location of IM operatives behind the Delhi blasts, the Delhi police moved urgently and sent an armed raiding party to Batla House.