At least two men, both chowkidars (security guards) deployed at a private school and an under-construction residential complex, claimed to have spotted the eight Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) operatives, after the jailbreak in Bhopal.
The security guard of the private school (name not disclosed for security reasons) claimed that a First Response Vehicle (FRV) of Dial 100 sped through the Abbas Nagar-Acharpura Road, around 4:42 am, just two minutes after the SIMI fugitives crossed the same road to hide in the nearby bushes, 10-15 meters away.
He said he saw the eight SIMI men walking on the road and then stopping near a bunch of trees near the school.
“I was on duty on Diwali night and stood up when I saw them standing there and talking to each other around 4.40 am. I became alert and started observing them. After a few seconds, they crossed the road and started moving towards the bushes straight towards a nearby construction site -- walking through the bushes,” he said.
The second security guard, guarding a construction site near Godarmau on the road connecting Abbas Nagar and Acharpura, said the eight men knew where they were going.
“I was on duty at the site between 4-5 pm, when I saw a group of eight men near the site. Five of them were walking ahead while the remaining three were behind them at a distance of about 10 meters.”
“As it was dark I could not see their faces clearly, but I questioned the three men behind about where they were going on which they replied that they were going towards the cement mixing plant,” he said adding that he did not talk much after that as he thought they were labourers working at the plant.
The claims of the two guards suggest that out of fear of being spotted, the SIMI men went to Acharpura using the main road (Abbas Nagar-Acharpura) and took the circuitous route through villages and small bushes to Acharpura which was 2-3 km longer than the main road route.