Bhopal jailbreak: Under fire, Chouhan attacks oppn leaders’ ‘petty politics’
Monday’s killing of eight SIMI men by Madhya Pradesh police has turned into a tug of war with chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan accusing opposition leaders, who have questioned the authenticity of the encounter, of doing “petty politics”.bhopal Updated: Nov 02, 2016 11:50 IST
Monday’s killing of eight SIMI men by Madhya Pradesh police has turned into a tug of war with chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan accusing opposition leaders, who have questioned the authenticity of the encounter, of doing “petty politics”.
Chouhan was talking to reporters after attending the funeral of head constable Ramashankar Yadav, who was allegedly killed by the eight men of the banned Students Islamic Federation of India (SIMI) before escaping from the Bhopal Central Jail early on Monday. Police killed the men hours after they escaped from the high-security jail in Bhopal at Acharpura village.
“They (politicians) should have spoken a few words on them (policemen) too. But they didn’t see Yadav’s sacrifice and the tears in the eyes of his family members. They should desist from such petty politics,” Chouhan said.
The chief minister’s reaction comes after Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh alleged that the government had intelligence input on the design of SIMI prisoners in Bhopal to escape from the jail but it didn’t act on it.
Singh was among the first politicians to question the encounter immediately after the SIMI operatives were killed in the encounter by Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Madhya Pradesh police and local police of Bhopal on Monday.
In his series of tweets, he said five SIMI prisoners escaped from Khandwa jail in 2013. In 2014, the chief secretary was informed that SIMI prisoners might escape from Bhopal jail, but the government took no action on the alert.
The former chief minister sought to know the reason why only SIMI prisoners escape from jails. All the eight prisoners were gunned down by MP police. Did the prisoners have arms with them? he asked.
“If all of them would have been caught alive they would have given information about the whole incident and also revealed the sequence of events. Perhaps, that is why they were gunned down,” he said.
Singh also said it was the Congress government that had banned SIMI but the BJP government forgave SIMI prisoners in Khachrod jail in 2011.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Supreme Court’s senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan also came down heavily on the Shivraj government for what they say a fake police encounter.
“With the ‘encounter killing’ of 9 SIMI under trials in MP, we’re back to the bad old days of Gujarat with rampant extra judicial killings (sic),” tweeted Bhushan on Tuesday.
In his tweet on Monday night. Kejriwal said, “This is Modi Raj. Fake encounters (sic), fake cases, Rohith Vemula, KG Bansal, missing Najeeb, dalit atrocties, goondaism of ABVP, RSS, gau rakshks.”
On Monday, member of parliament Jyotiraditya Scindia and state Congress president Arun Yadav sought to know as to who was responsible for grave security lapses in the jail and why the state government didn’t learn a lesson from Khandwa jailbreak.
State BJP chief spokesperson Deepak Vijayvargiya termed Digvijaya Singh’s charges as baseless: “Whether it’s Digvijaya, Bhushan or Kejriwal or any other leader they must think twice before reacting on the encounter if they stand in favour of terrorism or are opposed to it. The BJP is and will be always against terrorism,” he said.