SIMI activists' encounter in Bhopal: BJP lauds police, Opposition seeks deeper probe

The ruling BJP government in Madhya Pradesh congratulated the police over the alleged encounter of eight SIMI activists, who escaped from Bhopal Central Prison on Monday, while Opposition parties sought to pick holes in the sequence of events given by the officials and asked probing questions.

Accusing other parties of vote bank politics, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday said, "Those who seek proof for the martyrdom of jawans will not recognise the sacrifice of the prison guard Ramashankar Yadav." He also declared a compensation sum of Rs 10 lakh for Yadav's family, Rs 5 lakh for his daughter's wedding, and added that a colony will be named after him.

State BJP president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan, in a press release, said his party congratulated the police for tracking and killing the SIMI "terrorists", who murdered a security guard of Bhopal Central Jail and escaped.

He also praised members of public for helping the police in tracking down the SIMI activists after their escape in the wee hours on Monday.

"The central and state governments won't tolerate any kind of terrorism," Nandkumar Singh Chauhan said.

However, the Congress sought clarifcation on the possession of weapons by the SIMI members.

IG Yogesh Choudhary said the fleeing SIMI activists had weapons in possession and opened fire when confronted and the police fired in retaliation.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

"How they got weapons and why they remained near Bhopal for 8-9 hours (after the jailbreak) is a matter which raises questions," Madhya Pradesh Congress President Arun Yadav said in a statement.

"As per the jail manual, not more than eight hardened criminals should be kept in a single prison. But here as many as 35 of them were lodged together," Yadav said.

CPM leader Badal Saroj, in a statement, said there were many loopholes in the police theory about the SIMI members escaping from jail and then spotted in forests.

Their disappearance from the prison and subsequent appearance in forests with pistols and knife raise many questions. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that truth in the matter comes out, Saroj said.

The CPM leader demanded a probe by a high court judge in the entire episode and said an inquiry by the NIA will not achieve much.

Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Monday alleged that Madhya Pradesh police killed the eight SIMI activists in an encounter as it feared they would make some revelations.

In a series of tweets in Hindi, the Congress General Secretary also pitched for a court-monitored NIA probe into the incident as also a judicial inquiry into the functioning of the jail.

The former Madhya Pradesh chief minister wondered as to how only jail inmates associated with SIMI escaped and alleged that the eight have been gunned down by the Madhya Pradesh police.

He sought to know whether the SIMI activists were armed.

"If all had been caught alive they would have given information about the whole incident, but would have also revealed the sequence of events. Perhaps, that is why they were gunned down," Singh claimed.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Nov 01, 2016 12:17 PM

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