The post-mortem report of eight suspected SIMI operatives who were gunned down hours after they escaped from a Bhopal jail says there were multiple entry and exit wounds on the bodies and that majority of them were above the waist, their lawyer said on Wednesday.
“They were fired upon from the front and all of them sustained injuries in their head and chest, above the waist,” lawyer Parvez Alam said, claiming that he has seen the reports.
Repeating his claim that the SIMI suspects were killed in a fake encounter, Alam said police should fire below the waist in accordance with a Supreme Court ruling.
Eight members of the banned group broke out of the Bhopal Central Jail after slitting a guard’s throat on Monday and were found hours later in a densely forested area on the outskirts of the city where they were killed in an alleged encounter. Videos shot purportedly at the scene of the encounter appeared to question its authenticity, prompting demands by opposition parties for a judicial inquiry.
Bhopal inspector general of police Yogesh Choudhary had earlier defended the action to open fire, saying the alleged SIMI operatives were neutralised in ‘retaliatory’ fire. He also said the suspects had carried out serious offences and that they also killed police constables in 2008 and 2011.
After the opposition demanded an independent high-level judicial probe to verify the authenticity of the encounter, Madhya Pradesh director general of police (DGP) Rishi Kumar Shukla announced the formation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Tuesday to probe the killings.
But Alam said he will petition a local court for the medical examination of the remaining members of the banned organisation lodged in the Bhopal jail, alleging they were assaulted. He also claimed that there was a threat to his life.
“I am going to move the Bhopal Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) court today (Wednesday), seeking to conduct medical examination on 20-odd so-called SIMI members in jail.
“I have learnt that they have been brutally beaten,” Alam alleged, and said he will seek security from police.
On Tuesday, the bodies of seven of the eight SIMI activists were buried in different parts of Madhya Pradesh amid tight security.
While the last rites of Amjad Khan, Zakir Hussain, Mohammad Salik, Sheikh Mehboob, Aqueel Khilji, Mohammed Khalid and Abdul Majid were conducted in the state, the body of another deceased Sheikh Mujeeb was taken to Ahmedabad by his family members. All the bodies were handed over to the kin after the post-mortem in Bhopal.