After taking credit for quickly eliminating “dreaded terrorists” and publicly felicitating police officials and villagers, the state government has become so circumspect about the October 31 shoot-out that it is refusing to disclose the direction in which the eight SIMI operatives fled and the distance between Bhopal Central Jail and the encounter spot.
“Since the encounter is being probed, providing specific facts is not accordant with the Code of Criminal Procedure,” Jail Minister Kusum Mehdele told Congress MLA Arif Aqueel in a written reply submitted in the Assembly.
The Congress legislator wanted to know the time of the jailbreak and the encounter, the direction in which they escaped, the distance to the place where they were killed, the charges against them and how they were labelled terrorists when the trials were still on in various courts. The minister justified calling them terrorists on the ground that the eight were booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Mehdele said a judicial commission had been set up and refused to divulge names of policemen involved in the encounter.