A cop considered physically unfit to perform major field operations for the Bhopal police crime branch had led a 20-plus police team in gunning down eight SIMI jail beakers in an alleged encounter on Manikhedi hillock on MP capital’s outskirts on October 31.
Deputy SP of Bhopal police crime branch Dhyan Singh Chouhan, who in August, 2016 was considered physically unfit by senior cops, led one of the three police teams constituted to search and nab the eight suspected operatives.
According to key sources in the state police, just two months before the alleged encounter, the deputy inspector general of police (DIG) of Bhopal, Raman Singh Sikarwar had written to the state police headquarters requesting that Chouhan be transferred out of Bhopal.
However, Sikarwar said he did not remember requesting the PHQ to transfer anyone, particularly on health or fitness grounds. “I had written to the PHQ for transfer of many cops who were posted in Bhopal for a long time, which is a routine process. But, I do not remember the details of each and every case,” Sikarwar told HT on Friday.
The FIR at the Gunga police station on October 31 was also lodged on the complaints and details narrated by Chouhan.
Chouhan had spearheaded a team of 23 other crack staff hailing from crime branch, district police and the 25th Battalion of the Special Armed Force (SAF).
According to the contents of the FIR, it was his team which asked the SIMI operatives — allegedly armed with four country-made firearms and sharp-edged weapons – to surrender near the Manikhedi hillock in Khijradev village.
The FIR further mentions that all three cops, including 25th SAF Battalion head constable Narayan Singh and two constables of Bhopal crime branch Mayand Singh and Dinesh Khatri — who were allegedly injured in the attack — were part of Chouhan’s team.
However, despite repeated attempts by HT, Chouhan could not be contacted.
(Inputs from Kalyan Das)