Demand for probe into SIMI activists encounter deaths was only to clear doubts: P Chidambaram

If police had arrested them alive, it would have led to unravelling of how they escaped and with whose support, the former Union Home Minister said.

By: PTI | Chennai | Updated: November 7, 2016 2:19 pm
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Questioning the dubbing of those demanding a probe into the jailbreak by eight SIMI activists and their killing in Madhya Pradesh as anti-national, former Union Minister P Chidambaram on Friday said they only wanted to clear some doubts and none supported the escaped prisoners.

“The incident has led to some doubts and to clear such doubts if a demand was made for a probe, and if you dub the plea for a probe as anti-national, what does it mean? ” he asked.

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If police had arrested them alive, it would have led to unravelling of how they escaped and with whose support, the former Union Home Minister told reporters.

“No one is speaking in support of the escaped prisoners. Had they arrested the escapees alive, it would have been known how they made good their escape and with whose support,” he said.

The eight SIMI activists were killed in an alleged encounter with police on the outskirts of Bhopal on October 31, hours after they escaped from the high-security Bhopal Central Jail killing a security guard.

Chidambaram pointed out that over the past four days, the Madhya Pradesh government had announced “five different inquiries” on the incident and had now finally said a retired judge would probe it.

“A probe has been announced at last. Why could not the government have done it on day one?”

He said only after much persuasion had the government government come forward for a judicial probe.

“No one can deny that those who had escaped were undertrial prisoners who faced serious charges and that they murdered a head constable. But is it possible or not to arrest those who had escaped?

“Is it a true or fake encounter? This is a controversial issue. Some videos have surfaced, some villagers who witnessed it have spoken. What is the truth and what is not should be known … is it not?,” he asked.