Suggesting that the elimination of eight SIMI activists by the police at the same place on the outskirts of Bhopal appeared to be faked, the Congress party on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to assign a retired judge to probe the matter. Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said, “I saw the photographs on television and they do bring suspicion. They make us think that was that encounter fake? Because it seems quite difficult to imagine that eight people at a time were killed by the police at the same place together. This matter should be investigated and the Supreme Court should assign this matter to a retired Supreme Court judge to probe the matter and clear all doubts.”
Defending its action to open fire on the eight SIMI terrorists who broke out of Bhopal Central Jail on Monday morning, Madhya Pradesh Police asserted that the escaped prisoners were neutralised in ‘retaliatory’ fire, adding that the suspects have been continuously perpetrating serious offences and had also killed police constables in 2008 and 2011.
Bhopal’s Inspector General of Police Yogesh Choudhary said all eight SIMI terrorists were killed in cross-firing and had a track record of being involved in serious crimes before. “We garnered all possible resources and launched search and patrol parties after we got intelligence that around 7-8 people were seen by locals. It was difficult to locate them as the unequal terrain was a disadvantage, but soon our team was fired upon when we challenged the suspects,” he said.
The eight terrorists of the banned SIMI group escaped from the Bhopal Central Jail after killing a guard. They were gunned down in an encounter by the state police yesterday. Chaudhary claimed they had weapons and were killed as they were trying to flee.
“They were killed in cross firing. It was a big challenge and the team accepted it properly,” he said.