Even as the Madhya Pradesh police launched a manhunt to nab the six Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) activists who escaped from Khandwa district prison on Tuesday, the Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday decided to strengthen the security of the three judges of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court who had passed order on the disputed land in Ayodhya.
Aslam Ayub, Abu Faisal alias Doctor, Sheikh Mehboob, Mohd Ejajuddin, Zakir Badul, Abid Mirza and Amjad Khan alias Dawood had escaped from the prison on Tuesday.
Of these, Abu Faisal alias Doctor, Aslam Ayub and Zakir Badul were booked for plotting to kill Justice SU Khan, Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Justice DV Sharma — who had passed the Ayodhya judgment.
The Madhya Pradesh Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) had arrested the trio, who during the interrogation had revealed about their plan to eliminate the judges.
In fact, they had landed in Lucknow in November 2010 to carry out the attack and had carried out a recce of the high court area for nearly two months.
They had collected information about the security of the judges, high court premises as well as the movement of the judges from the high court to the residence.
The Madhya Pradesh police have nabbed Abid Mirza while the remaining five SIMI members are still on the run.
Talking to HT, a UP home department officer said the SIMI members were trying to re-group and might enter UP.
IG (law and order) RK Vishwakarma said the state government had written a letter to ADG (security) OP Singh to review the security of the three judges and submit a report.
While Justice Khan is in Lucknow, Justice Agarwal is in Allahabad while Justice Sharma has retired and shifted to Uttarakhand.
A meeting of the home department and police department officers was held under the chairmanship of principal secretary home RM Srivastava on Thursday to review the security of the judges.
ADG (security) OP Singh visited the high court and met one of the judges to discuss the security arrangements in the court premises.
It was decided to increase the security personnel in the court and to beef up the personal security of the judges.
When asked Singh confirmed that the security arrangement has been strengthened.
Letter has been also shot off to SSPs of Lucknow and Allahabad to make first hand threat assessment to the judges and strengthen their security as well.