Bhopal: The police in Madhya Pradesh confronted tough questions on Monday after eight terror suspects from the banned Students' Islamic Movement of India or SIMI broke out of jail in Bhopal and were shot dead hours later.
- 8 men from banned SIMI group break out of Bhopal prison
- Tracked by police with help of locals, 10 km away, the men are shot dead
- Opposition demands enquiry after amateur videos of encounter emerge
As politicians like Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Congress's Digvijaya Singh and Hyderabad lawmaker Asaduddin Owaisi demanded an inquiry, videos emerged, one that shows a policeman shooting at an inert body, and hours later, another that was interpreted as showing that the police shot dead suspects even though they wanted to surrender.
In the second video, a group of men are seen at a distance and a voice says: "Control! These five men are talking to us. Three are trying to run away. Let's surround them!" Gunshots are then heard.
"This is very serious. We demand a Supreme Court-monitored investigation," Mr Kejriwal tweeted on allegations that the encounter was fake.
In another unverified mobile phone video, reportedly filmed by a villager when the police were examining the bodies of the terror suspects, the policeman is seen shooting apparently at a dead man just after his comrade is seen yanking out what appears to be a steel plate from the belt of another body. The policeman, asked to fire at another body, is heard refusing, saying he is being filmed.
"We will investigate and verify the details of the video footage," said senior Bhopal police officer Yogesh Choudhury.
The police have said that they were forced to shoot back as the fugitives had attacked and fired at them when cornered and surrounded around 15 km from the Bhopal Central Jail, from where they had escaped. "They have recovered four weapons from them," said Mr Choudhury.
"They tried to attack the police and tried to escape. The police had no choice but to kill," Mr Singh said.
Hours after they escaped using bedsheets tied together to climb over walls, came the sensational news that all eight had been killed by the police.
The prisoners were facing trial for terror incidents, sedition and robbery.
"They were involved in heinous crimes. The police acted with great bravery. Why should Congress and other parties ask questions?" said GVL Narasimha Rao of the BJP, which rules Madhya Pradesh.