Monday's alleged police encounter that killed eight SIMI operatives on the outskirts of Bhopal, after they escaped from the high-security central jail, raised many questions. Varying police accounts and a video that surfaced showed a policeman shooting at a group of men lying still. It also showed a policeman pulling out a knife from one of the dead men. IG of Madhya Pradesh police Yogesh Choudhary's media address left many questions about the encounter unanswered.
TS Sudhir wrote for Firstpost: "In light of so many doubts over the police version, it is fair to assume there is more than what meets the eye. One can surmise that a lot happened between 2 am and 3 am inside jail."
Amid criticism over the Madhya Pradesh government's inefficient handling of the jailbreak which also revealed serious security lapses in its central prison, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that the matter is being politicised as "the slain men were dreaded terrorists who could have wreaked devastation".
He advocated for quick trials and said, "How long can you keep them under trial? Some people even get chicken biryani in jail. We should seriously consider setting up fast-track courts,” reported The Indian Express.
Chouhan further said that the SIMI operatives who were killed were involved in blasts, dacoity and murder and "would have been a threat to the state and nation had they not been eliminated".
"Certain politicians are making a hue and cry for these terrorists but not lending a word of solace for the martyred jawans. I condemn such leaders and the dirty politics they are doing. But for the government and the public the nation and the state is foremost and I appeal everyone to stop playing dirty politics. Patriotism is important," he said.
With inputs from agencies