In a daring pre-dawn jailbreak on Monday, seven prisoners, six of them activists of the banned Simi, braved a hail of bullets and stabbed policemen to escape from a prison in Madhya Pradesh. Three of them were part of a plot to kill three judges who gave a decisive judgment in the Ram temple case, HT has learnt.
While Abid Mirza, a terror accused, was arrested hours after fleeing Khandwa jail, Students Islamic Movement of India activists Aslam Ayub, Abu Faisal alias Doctor, Sheikh Mehboob, Mohd Ejajuddin, Zakir Badul and Amjad Khan alias Dawood are still on the run.
Security agencies have sounded an alarm as Faisal, believed to be the leader of the MP module of the Simi, robbed two banks in Bhopal in 2011 allegedly to finance jihad in India, a counterterror official told HT.
All the six Simi men but Amjad are accused of murdering an anti-terror squad constable on November 11, 2009. While making their escape after the murder, the men also gunned down a bank manager and an advocate. Mirza is accused of planting a bomb in a nursing home in Khandwa in 2010.
The counterterror official said Faisal, Aslam and Badul arrived in Lucknow in November 2010 to target justice SU Khan, justice DV Sharma and justice Sudhir Agarwal of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court.
In a 2:1 majority judgment on September 30, 2010, the three ruled that one-third of the disputed land in Ayodhya would go to the Sunni Waqf Board, a third to the Nirmohi Akhara and one-third to ‘Ram Lalla’.
The Simi men receed the high court area for nearly two months. Faisal even called in another Simi activist for help.
The plan was to gun down the judges but they were arrested in June 2011 for the constable’s murder, said the official.
On Monday, the seven men bored a hole in a toilet wall and then used blankets and bedsheets to scale the jail wall between 2am and 3am. They then attacked a police patrol of four constables with knives, snatched their weapons and wireless sets and escaped on their motorcycles, said the police.
They had to abandon the two bikes after they got stuck in the mud 500m away from the jail, said sources.
Mirza did not follow the six and fled to nearby Sarvodaya Nagar. He was sleeping on the roof of a house when he was spotted by the owner and was arrested, ASP Khandwa Gopal Khandel told HT.
Senior police officials are camping in the city and a massive combing operation is on. Five jail officials have been suspended.