The ruling BJP in Madhya Pradesh congratulated police over the alleged encounter of eight SIMI activists who escaped from a jail here today, while Opposition parties sought to pick holes in the sequence of events given by the officials and asked probing questions. State BJP President Nandkumar Singh Chauhan, in a press release, said his party congratulated the police for tracking and killing the SIMI “terrorists”, who murdered a security guard of Bhopal Central Jail and escaped.
He also praised members of public for helping the police in tracking down the SIMI activists after their escape in the wee hours on Monday. “The Central and state governments won’t tolerate any kind of terrorism,” Chauhan said.
However, Opposition Congress latched on a statement made by Bhopal Inspector General of Police about possession of weapons by the SIMI members and sought clarification. IG Yogesh Choudhary said the fleeing SIMI activists had weapons in possession and opened fire when confronted and the police fired in retaliation.
“How they got weapons and why they remained near Bhopal for 8-9 hours (after the jail break) is a matter which raises questions,” Madhya Pradesh Congress President Arun Yadav said in a statement. “As per the jail manual, not more than eight hardened criminals should be kept in a single prison. But here as many as 35 of them were lodged together,” Yadav said.
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CPM leader Badal Saroj, in a statement, said there were many loose ends in the police theory about the SIMI members escaping from jail and then spotted in forests. Their disappearance from the prison and subsequent appearance in forests with pistols and knife raise many questions. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that truth in the matter comes out, Saroj said.
The CPM leader demanded a probe by a High Court Judge in the entire episode and said an inquiry by NIA will not achieve much.