SIMI men roamed ‘freely’ inside Bhopal jail
A new CCTV footage showing that SIMI men were freely roaming in the Bhopal jail emerged on Friday evening, a day after an audio clip allegedly featuring conversations among police officials involved in the encounter had surfaced.Updated: Nov 05, 2016 08:44 IST
A new CCTV footage showing that SIMI men were freely roaming in the Bhopal jail emerged on Friday evening, a day after an audio clip allegedly featuring conversations among police officials involved in the encounter had surfaced.
In the audio clip, whose authenticity is yet to be confirmed, cops could he heard telling each other to shoot SIMI men raising suspicion over authenticity over the encounter. The men, who were said to have jumped Bhopal Central Jail on Diwali night, were killed near Malikheda on the outskirts of Bhopal.
But, Friday footage believed to be of a CCTV camera installed near the cells of the SIMI cadres showed eight killed SIMI men roaming freely at the B block during the day time. Aired by a local television channel, the SIMI men in the CCTV footage could not be identified. HT had earlier reported that the SIMI cadres had VIP lifestyle in the jail, and used to move around freely during the day and even had set up a gym.
The audio clip, featuring walkie-talkie conversations of cops, fuelled further suspicion that they were keen to kill — not capture alive — the eight men. The senior police official asks on the walkie-talkie whether all the five (of the eight) men were fleeing together.
To this, one of the police officials at the encounter site responds in the positive.
The senior police official then says, “Bilkul piche nahi hatna hai. Gherke poora kardo kaam tamaam” (Don’t back off...Surround them and finish them).
One of the police officials then says the SIMI men were firing at them. To this, the senior official commands to “do retaliatory firing after taking a proper position”.
Judicial probe ordered
The Madhya Pradesh government has decided against the NIA inquiry following decision to hold judicial probe by retired High Court judge SK Pandey.
“The judge will inquire everything right from escape to encounter and also they will give recommendation on how to enhance security of the jail,” Home Minister Bhupendra Singh told HT.
This comes two days after Singh had said that NIA will investigate only the jail break and not the encounter.
The minister also said that the government is yet to decide on when to give award to police personnel involved in the encounter and the villagers who gave information about SIMI men to the police. This may mean that the villagers and the policemen may not get the award money immediately.
However, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh welcomed the decision to hold a judicial inquiry but wanted it to be under the supervision of Madhya Pradesh high court.
On the authenticity of the audio clip, IG Bhopal Yogesh Choudhary said the whole incident was under investigation. “It is a matter of investigation. CID is already probing the incident, I cannot comment on that,” Choudhary said.
According to sources, the audio conversation involves a senior police official, the personnel at police control room (PCR) and the police officials present at the encounter site at Khijradev village under Gunga police station.
First Published: Nov 05, 2016 08:44 IST