Bhopal: Eight terrorists of the banned outfit Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), who managed to escape from Bhopal Central Jail in the wee hours of Monday, were killed in an encounter on the outskirts of Bhopal.
The SIMI men were killed in an operation carried out by Madhya Pradesh police after tracking them down to Malikheda.
After getting a tip-off from the locals, the police surrounded them and asked them to surrender. However, the terror suspects didn't pay any heed to the warning and opened fire, following which the security personnel retaliated and gunned down the eight SIMI members.
Reports say that the gunfire lasted for 30 minutes.
Reports claimed that the terrorists had local support and were provided weapons for self-defence after they managed to flee from the prison.
MP Home Minister Bhupendra Singh said the SIMI members were planning a big terror strike.
In a major security lapse on the part of jail administration, five out of eight terrorists were locked in the same barrack.
IG Bhopal, Yogesh Choudhary confirmed that the SIMI members were killed in a retaliatory fire by police.
The names of seven of the SIMI terrorists are: Amzad, Zakir Hussain Sadiq, Mohammad Salik, Mujeeb Shaikh, Mehbood Guddu, Mohammad Kalid Ahmed, Aqeel and Majid.
Four among them were notorious criminals involved in dacoity, loot and treason. They had earlier escaped from Khandwa Jail and were later arrested from Odisha, police said.
Around 2-3 am, eight accused belonging to SIMI escaped from the jail by making a rope out of bed sheets to climb the wall of Bhopal central jail. During their escape, they killed a jail security guard.
Earlier today, the Union Home Ministry sought a report from the Madhya Pradesh government about the jail break.
This was the second major jail break by operatives of banned SIMI in three years after the sensational escape by seven members of the group from a jail in Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh in 2013.
While in hiding, the SIMI men were allegedly involved in terror activities in several states including Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
SIMI was banned by the government in 2001.