Director-producer-writer Nikkhil Advani has acquired the rights for a movie on the controversial Batla House encounter, that took place in Delhi in 2008. The shooting for the movie will start in September.
Speaking to the PTI, Advani said:
“We have touched upon real life incidents earlier with films like Lucknow Central and Airlift. We have been doing research on the subject of ‘Batla House’ for four years, we have NOC from everybody. It is based on the life of a police officer who was involved in the ‘Batla House’ operation.”
The movie will be based on the life of Mohan Chand Sharma, Inspector Special Cell of Delhi Police, who lost his life in the encounter. The character will be portrayed by Saif Ali Khan. This is Saif’s third movie with Advani after Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003) and the upcoming Bazaar, based on the Indian stock markets.
Batla House Encounter or Operation Batla House
The infamous and controversial Batla House encounter took place on September 19, 2008. The Special Cell of Delhi Police led by Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma raided the Batla House suspecting the occupants of the house to be Indian Mujahideen militants.
The operation was carried out after a series of bomb blasts that hit Delhi claimed 30 lives and injured several people.
Apart from Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma, two of the five occupants and alleged terrorists –Atif Amin (24) and Mohammad Sajid (17) — were killed during the encounter. According to the police, two others, Shahzad Ahmed and Ariz Khan managed to flee, while Mohammad Saif surrendered. Shahzad was arrested and convicted in 2013 for the Delhi blasts.
Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma was posthumously awarded the President of India medal 2008 and the Ashoka Chakra in 2009.
Following the encounter, several human rights activists, political parties as well as media houses raised doubts over the encounter and termed it as fake. After People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) and Anhad, an NGO filed a petition in the Delhi High Court in May 2009, the court directed the National Human Rights Commission to conduct a thorough inquiry into the operation. After two months, on the basis of the NHRC report, the court gave a clean chit to the Delhi Police. However, several loopholes were found in the NHRC report, submitted to the court.