Eleven days after eight SIMI operatives who escaped from the Bhopal Central Jail were gunned down by police, investigators claim to have found at least three 1,000-rupee notes hidden in the cracks of their prison cell walls.
“While checking the cells of SIMI men in B-block, where the slain SIMI suspects were lodged, the investigators found the three currency notes lodged in the cracks. The notes were neatly rolled in the shape of cigarettes, so nobody could see them,” an inside source told HT.
He said there were no restrictions on the inmates keeping cash inside the prison. “For them, it was not very difficult to procure cash from visitors. Earlier, while checking the slain SIMI suspects’ cells, investigators found a bag with clothes, dry fruits and `2,400 in cash kept in a bag inside the cells,” the source said, adding that there was a strong possibility of the accused bribing jail officials for ‘special services’ with this money.
Hindustan Times had earlier reported that all the 29 SIMI men lodged inside the jail before the prison break were accorded ‘special services’, which included separate food, extra bedsheets and items smuggled from outside. Investigators later found toilet soap bars with key imprints inside the prison – indicating that they had been planning the escape for months with help from an insider.
On the intervening night of October 30 and October 31, eight SIMI men allegedly escaped from the Bhopal Central Jail after killing a head constable with a weapon fashioned out of cutlery.
They scaled a 25-feet boundary with the help of a ladder made by tying bedsheets and wooden planks together. All the eight were later killed by police in an alleged encounter on a hillock located 12 km from the prison.