Bhopal SIMI encounter: Judicial panel to probe if shooting was justified

The inquiry followed discrepancies in the accounts of senior police officers regarding whether the SIMI activists were armed.

Written by Milind Ghatwai | Bhopal | Published: November 8, 2016 3:41:48 am
bhopal, bhopal encounter, bhopal jailbreak, simi encounter, simi activist, simi activist  killed, simi activist encounter, undertrial encounter, muslim encounter, terrorism, extrajudicial killing, Armed Forces Special Powers Act, indian express news, india news, Bodies of SIMI terrorists who were killed in an encounter after they escaped from Central Jail, being handed over to their relatives and family members after post-mortem in Bhopal. (PTI photo)

The terms of reference for the judicial probe into the jailbreak and encounter that led to the killing of eight SIMI activists near Bhopal include the sequence of events leading to the shooting and whether the action was justified.

The government had on Thursday announced the name of a retired high court judge, Justice S K Pande, to head the judicial commission probing the jailbreak of the night of October 30 and the encounter that followed hours later.

The inquiry followed discrepancies in the accounts of senior police officers regarding whether the SIMI activists were armed, and the video and audio clips of the purported encounter in Manikhedi village under Gunga police station of Bhopal district.

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The other terms of reference include: sequence of events leading to the jailbreak, fixing the responsibility of officials responsible for it and recommendations to prevent recurrence of jailbreak. The commission will also cover related topics that emerge during the probe. The judge has been asked to submit the report within three months.

Before announcing the judicial probe, the government had asked former DGP Nandan Dubey to probe the jailbreak and suggest measures to prevent recurrence. Dubey told The Indian Express that he worked only for a day and wound up the probe after the judicial probe was announced. A CID inquiry ordered by the DGP to probe the encounter is on.

Meanwhile, a PIL filed by a Bhopal-based social worker seeking a court-ordered inquiry and prosecution of officials involved in the encounter will be taken up for further hearing by the Madhya Pradesh High Court on Wednesday. The petitioner has submitted video and audio clips to the high court, alleging that the encounter was staged.

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