The situation is tense but “under control” in Khandwa which witnessed an incident of minor stone pelting and a mild lathicharge by the police during the funeral procession of five SIMI operatives on Tuesday night.
Five companies of SAF deployed in Khandwa
Five companies of Special Armed Force have been deployed in Khandwa to prevent any untoward incident in the area.
The five SIMI operatives — Amjad Khan, Mohammad Aqeel Khilji , Mehboob Guddu , Zakir Hussein and Mohammad Saliq alias Sallu were buried around midnight after their bodies were handed over to their families in Bhopal earlier in the day.
Thousands of people joined funeral procession
Local sources said thousands of people joined the funeral procession. Mourners in the procession, especially youngsters kept shouting anti-establishment and anti-police slogans and pelted stones on shops and houses in Tapalchaal area of Khandwa. Sources said police resorted to mild lathicharge to stop the stone pelting and keep the procession moving.
Police used force to disperse us: Brother of slain SIMI operative
The brother of one of the slain SIMI operatives from Khandwa alleged police used force to disperse them while they were returning from the graveyard.
Ashfaq Saliq, brother of Mohammad Saliq, told HT that they had reached Khandwa around 7 pm. “Thousands of people turned up when we arrived. We decided that instead of taking out funeral processions from five areas, we will take out a single funeral procession from Gulmohar Colony from the house of Mohammad Aqeel Khilji towards the graveyard, which is over three kms away”, he said, adding, “while returning police used force to disperse us.”
Heavy police presence in Muslim dominated areas
There is an uneasy calm in Khandwa amid heavy police presence in Muslim dominated areas like Gulmohar, Kaharwadi, Imlipura, Gulshan Nagar and Ganesh Talai.
“As a precautionary measure we have continued the heavy presence of the police in the city. Five companies of SAF are patrolling the city areas,” additional superintendent of police in Khandwa Gopal Khandel said.
Khandwa’s Shahar Qazi Syed Ansar Ali told HT there should be a high level inquiry into the encounter and also the death of the jail head warder Rama Shankar Yadav.
“The police should have first tried to nab the accused alive and then shoot them in the leg. If they had been caught alive then those who had helped them after the jail break would have been exposed.”
The funeral of another SIMI operative, Abdul Majid, went off peacefully at Ujjain on Tuesday evening. Ujjain Shahar Qazi Khalikurahman demanded a fair inquiry into the encounter. The Qazi said there should be no leniency for anti nationals but also pointed out that there is a need to follow the rule of law.
SIT begins probe into SIMI ‘encounter’
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Wednesday started a probe into the encounter of eight SIMI jail breakers, a day after Madhya Pradesh DGP Rishi Kumar Shukla constituted a special investigation team of the Crime Investigation Department (CID) to probe the same case.
The team members visited the spot of the encounter, Khijradev village on the city’s outskirts in the morning and recorded statements of independent witnesses in the matter.
Earlier, the case diary in the matter lodged at Gunga police station was transferred to the SIT headed by IPS officer Anurag Sharma.
The one-member panel headed by ex-MP DGP Nandan Dube spent three hours meeting and recording statements of various jail staff at the Bhopal Central Jail on Wednesday. The investigations pertained to five major points based on which the ex-DGP will submit a report in a month time, identifying lapses.