Bhopal: In a major embarrassment to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, media reports on Friday claimed that a large number of prison guards were deputed to protect ex-ministers and senior government officials instead of doing their duty at the high security Bhopal Central Jail from where eight SIMI activists had recently escaped and later killed in an encounter.
News18.com, which claimed to have accessed a letter written by the Bhopal jail superintendent, claimed that a large number of jail guards were deputed on VIP duty, which compromised security at the high security jail here.
It further claimed that the state government paid no attention to the letter written to it by Bhopal jail superintendent for better security.
DG prisons clearly ignored demand for special security at the Bhopal Central Jail, it added.
However, Madhya Pradesh Jail Minister Kusum Mehdele categorically rubbished the claims, saying it is hard to believe that almost 80 'praharis' were deputed to protect the officials.
"I think you are exaggerating the figure. This is just not possible. I have a driver and two people in my office, don't know about rest but cannot be what you are saying. Still I will investigate. I don't believe that the whole thing is totally right, that 80 guards are being deployed for guarding ex-ministers," she was quoted as saying by ANI.
The Madhya Pradesh government today ordered a judicial probe into the encounter of eight SIMI operatives, which escaped from the Bhopal Central Jail.
Retired justice SK Pande will head the inquiry commission. The panel will probe the circumstances under which SIMI operatives escaped and the encounter in which they were killed by police.
The Madhya Pradesh High Court had issued a notice to the state government yesterday seeking a detailed report on the encounter.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had earlier announced a NIA probe into the incident.
On the other hand, Home Minister Bhupendra Singh had said that there is no need of any probe into the encounter.
Eight SIMI operatives had escaped on Sunday night from Bhopal central jail after killing security guard Ramashankar Yadav.
They were gunned down later. Social activists and political parties have raised several questions regarding the incident.