SIMI Jailbreak: From Planning to Probing

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simi encounter encounter-simi-terrorists-killed-escaped-bhopal-central jail bhopal jail break SIMIIn In the early hours of October 31, 2016, eight Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) operatives staged a jailbreak which is said to be funded from outside. Two staffers of Bhopal Central Jail, including a high ranking official are being investigated for their possible role as there are many evidences which indicate at the insider hand.

According to the sources, “The official concerned, instead of keeping a strict vigil on the SIMI men, used to keep a tab on the jail staffers to stop them from being strict with the operatives.” The alleged official also never allowed prison guards to check the items the visitors used to bring for SIMI men. He even allowed the SIMI men to meet the visitors in his offices instead of the designated place that too for couple of hours whereas the allotted time is not more than 15 minutes.

Apart from the role of staffers, when there are 50 odd cameras installed in the jail, there are only 3 CCTV cameras installed in the block of these SIMI men and those were turned off too. The key moulds which were used by these activists to unlock their barracks were carved out of plastic toothbrushes, which are used by jail inmates. According to a police officer, “Somebody seems to have made the moulds for the keys outside, and given it to them inside.”

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TEHELKA Highlights

1. Brand new camera, installed in the SIMI operatives’ block, was turned off.

2. The operatives were regarded as dangerous accused under UAPA.

3. They made 50 feet long rope out of bedsheets for jumping the wall.

4. Ahead of this incident, a retired jail official warned the government about the condition and security.

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A long standard size knife was also found near the drain, which is not allowed for any prisoner. The operatives killed the head constable Ramshankar Yadav in their way. Though later in the morning of October 31 around 10:30 am, they all were killed in an encounter at outskirts of Bhopal. Now the opposition parties are demanding probe of the whole incident. Hence, under pressure, the government has finally ordered an enquiry on its own.

On the enquiry, Parvez Alam, a lawyer representing SIMI operatives said, “The state government instead of requesting the MP High Court to order a judicial inquiry into the cold-blooded murder, has itself appointed an investigator, which is against the natural justice.” After the encounter came under criticism, the state government announced judicial probe by retired state high court judge SK Pandey. But when asked to justice Pandey about any communication regarding the probe, he said, “I don’t have any information (yet).”