While the judicial probe ordered into the gunning down of eight SIMI operatives near Bhopal is yet to begin, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday defended calling those killed as “terrorists’’, adding that such a perception was formed due to their past actions and allegations against them.
“Whatever they did in the past is before the state and the nation. I won’t go into the technical details (whether they were undertrials or convicts) but it’s the duty of the state to try to protect the society from people who are a threat to the society,’’ the CM said in response to a question during a “Meet the Press’’ event organised on the day he completed 11 years in office.
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A day after eight SIMI activists broke out of Bhopal Central Jail and were killed within hours, the CM in a speech had justified the encounter against SIMI members calling them terrorists and asking the audience if they backed the government action. He had felicitated senior police officials and villagers, who had informed the police, and announced cash rewards — an announcement that was put on hold later.
On Tuesday, he described Ladli Laxmi Yojana as the biggest achievement of his 11-year-rule and called the Petlawad explosion that took nearly 80 lives in September 2015 as the most disturbing occurrence.
Asked why BJP veteran L K Advani was not coming to MP after Narendra Modi became PM, Chouhan said both he and the PM had immense respect for him.