Delhi Court on Monday, 15 March, sentenced Indian Mujahideen terrorist Ariz Khan, who was convicted of the murder of inspector Mohan Chand Sharma and to death. Additional Session Judge Sandeep Yadav called it a 'rarest of rare case' while awarding the death penalty. The prosecution had sought the death penalty for Khan in the case, while the convict's counsel sought leniency on the ground of his young age. Delhi court has also imposed a fine of Rs 11 lakh on Ariz Khan. Terrorist Ariz Khan was convicted under Sections 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 333 (voluntarily causes grievous hurt), 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant) and 302 (murder) of the IPC. He has also been held guilty under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 174(a) (non-appearance in response to a proclamation) and 34 (criminal intention) of the IPC and Section 27 (using any prohibited weapons) of the Arms Act. On September 19, 2008, the Special Cell of Delhi Police had carried out an encounter at the Batla House in Jamia Nagar, in which a couple of Indian Mujahideen terrorists were killed, and inspector Mohan Chand Sharma was martyred. The encounter had taken place within a week of the 2008 Delhi serial blasts in which 30 innocents were killed. Blasts had taken place at Karol Bagh, Connaught Place, Greater Kailash and India Gate. The Delhi police received intel about terrorists hiding at the L-18 house. So-called Human rights activists and Congress leaders called the Batla House encounter "fake" and even set up plans to prove their allegations. Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid even claimed that Sonia Gandhi cried after being shown the encounter's images. While Digvijaya Singh had also visited Azamgarh to meet the family members of those arrested in connection with the Batla House encounter case. Reacting to the verdict, Prakash Javadekar said, "Delhi court's verdict on Batla House Encounter today thoroughly exposes the terrorist sympathisers and doubters lobby in the country." Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal should apologise to the nation for raising questions on the integrity of our police forces, he added. Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma had played a vital role in arresting four Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists in February 2007 after an encounter at DDU Marg. In 2006, he was also involved in the encounter of a most wanted terrorist, Abu Hamza, near the JLN Stadium. Mohan Chand Sharma was decorated with the Ashoka Chakra, India's highest peacetime gallantry medal, for his unparalleled bravery during the operation.
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Various Hindu ashrams and prominent monks in Kerala have formed the Kerala Dharmacharya Sabha (KDS), a forum to form an authoritative opinion on all issues confronting the community. The body has a 23-member executive committee comprising swamis and priests. A meeting held in Kochi was attended by representatives of leading ashrams and institutions. Swami Chidananda Puri of Advaithashramam in Kozhikode was elected the KDS chairman, while Mullappally Krishnan Namboodiri of Tantric Vidya Peedho ...