New Delhi: Stating "discrepancies" in the statements made by the Madhya Pradesh government and state police over the killing of eight (Students Islamic Movement of India) SIMI activists in an encounter, Left parties on Tuesday sought a judicial probe into the episode, contending NIA inquiry will neither be "credible nor acceptable".
The Left parties sought to know how these men could have escaped from a high security Bhopal central jail and stated the Shivraj Singh Chouhan dispensation owes "full explanation" about how the prison security could be breached. As they raised doubts, the Left parties stressed the eight were "under trials whose guilt had not yet been established" and were "suspected" to have links with the banned organisation SIMI.
"The claim by police that the accused were shot dead after they were attacked by these men who were armed is contradicted by state's Home Minister Bhupendra Singh. That these men could secure arms while being unable to get a vehicle to make good their escape sounds implausible," CPI(M) Politburo said in a statement.
The Politburo also referred to video clips, purportedly from encounter site, showing a policeman pumping bullets at one of the "escapees" after some unidentified person takes out what appears to be a knife. It said the clip shows the activists waiving at cops "presumably indicating that they want to surrender" and stated this raises doubts over veracity of claims made by cops.
"In the light of these concerns, the Politburo demands a judicial enquiry headed by a sitting judge be constituted to conduct a thorough investigation. "The Chief Minister has announced that an enquiry would be conducted by the NIA. Such an enquiry would neither be credible nor acceptable," it said.
Taking to Twitter over the issue, party general secretary Sitaram Yechury reiterated the concerns and insisted the Centre and the BJP hold the state government responsible for "its actions".
His predecessor Prakash Karat echoed Politburo's demand for a judicial probe into the entire episode. The CPI too pitched for a "high-level" judicial probe into the matter and appealed people to understand the "sinister design" of BJP-RSS, which it alleged was trying to politicise the fight against terror.
"To divert the attention of the people and polarise them on communal lines BJP-RSS blame others raising the bogey of nationalism and patriotism," the CPI said in a statement.
The SIMI activists were killed yesterday during an encounter with police on the outskirts of Bhopal, hours after they escaped from high-security central jail killing a security guard but questions cropped up over the killings.
As controversy raged over the police action, TV channels showed footage purportedly from the encounter site in which a policeman is seen pumping bullets into a man from close range after some unidentified person takes out what appears to be a knife said to be in a plastic cover and places it back.
Speaking to media on Monday, Chouhan had said the jail-break would be probed by the NIA but parried a question on the encounter. He said the state government will also carry out a separate investigation into the matter.