Bhopal: Amid voices demanding a probe, the Madhya Pradesh Police on Monday asserted that the eight Students Islamic Movement of India activists, who escaped from a prison here, were "killed during an encounter”.
The police, however, did not elaborate on the details of the operation but revealed how the SIMI activists killed in a gunfight on Monday had escaped from Bhopal Central Jail.
Madhya Pradesh Police DGP Yogesh Chaudhary told reporters last evening that the eight SIMI activists were housed in two barracks and were among a total of 29 Students Islamic Movement of India undertrials housed in the jail.
They used toothbrush and other material to make keys to the barrack doors, slit the throat of jail warden Ramashankar Yadav and tied up another jail staffer Chandan Singh before scaling the 25-feet high prison wall with the help of bedsheets, the Director General of Police said.
He said that police encircled the fleeing undertrials near Khejra nullah in Gunga police station area, following which the eight allegedly fired on the police team and also attacked them with sharp-edged weapons.
The DGP said three police personnel were injured in the attack, adding that police fired 43 rounds to kill the eight SIMI activists.
Four countrymade pistols and three knives were seized from the killed persons, Chaudhary said. No mobile phone was seized.
When the media asked questions regarding the clothes and shoes worn by the eight men and claims of villagers that the men were not armed, the DGP said these issues were a matter of inquiry.
He said the facts emerging from the ongoing inquiry into the incident would be shared with the media.
The activists have been identified as Sheikh Mehboob, Amzad, Zakir Hussain, Mohammad Saliq, Majid, Khalid Ahmed, Aqueel and Sheikh Najeeb.
This is 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.
(With Agency inputs)