A day after the Madhya Pradesh government ordered a judicial probe into the jailbreak and subsequent encounter killing of SIMI operatives near Bhopal, chief of the state IPS officers’ association justified the encounter Sunday. “I am hurt by the debate, conjectures and insinuations that the events could have been staged. Please don’t put police on par with criminals,’’ Madhya Pradesh IPS Officers’ Association president Pawan Jain told The Sunday Express. Jain, additional DGP (planning), said he was speaking on behalf of the association, but his comments don’t amount to a bid to influence outcome of the judicial probe that is yet to begin.
“They (SIMI activists) were threat to the society after their escape. Their intention was anything but noble. They could have exploded bombs, murdered people and robbed banks as some of them did when they escaped from Khandwa jail,’’ the senior IPS officer said. “If bullets fired by the police killed them, bullets fired by them could have killed the police too,” he said.
He did not agree that nabbing one of the SIMI activists alive could have unravelled the alleged conspiracy behind the jailbreak. Referring to Mumbai attacks, he said ASI Tukaram Omble died in an attempt to capture Ajmal Kasab alive. “Kasab’s capture confirmed the involvement of Pakistan in the attack. No one remembers Omble, but they remember Kasab.’’
The officer first expressed his opinion in a WhatsApp post that later went viral. Referring to television debates by “armchair experts,’’ he said people don’t understand the seriousness of the situation unless they face it themselves.
Interestingly, among those who liked the IPS officer’s post is Congress spokesperson K K Mishra. “The officer has spoken from his heart. He is is not a politician,” Mishra said. The Opposition party has alleged that the encounter was fake. Home Minister Bhupendra Singh said a judicial probe had been ordered and it was not proper to reach any conclusion yet. “All angles are being probed,’’ he said, while reacting to Jain’s comments.