At least two unverified videos, which allegedly captured the encounter of eight suspected Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) terrorists in Madhya Pradesh, have created a furore over speculations that it may have been a fake encounter. On Monday morning, the SIMI terrorists had fled from Bhopal Central Jail after killing a security guard.
Urging the opposition not to politicise the encounter, the Madhya Pradesh government has backed the police department saying that they had no choice and added that the incident would be thoroughly probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
In the video, security personnel were seen firing at the bodies of the terrorists. An individual, who is not in uniform, is also seen taking out a blade from one of the bodies. Another video describes an eyewitness account that police engaged the individuals after firing warning shots in the air. However, the eyewitness said that the terrorists were pelting stones.
According to India Today, Madhya Pradesh Police have claimed that they only neutralized the terrorists in retaliatory firing.
Bhopal Inspector General of Police Yogesh Choudhary claimed the encounter took place after the suspects opened fire at the police, according to News18.
India Today has also raised the question that one of the terrorist may have been alive when he was shot as the body was seen twitching after being fired in the video
The seizing of the blade suggested to a theory that it was planted on the bodies of the neutralized terrorist, according to India Today. The blade is brand new and has a plastic cover on it.
Madhya Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said that four police officials have been suspended and that the NIA will probe the jail-break. He also spoke to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and suggested that the NIA should carry out the investigation in the matter.
"I spoke about how the NIA should carry out the investigation in the matter. The home minister agreed," the chief minister said.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy has slammed Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh over his comments on the issue. "Digvijaya has made so many statements, which are wrong and ridiculous. He had also said something about Hemant Karkare (IPS officer) being killed by the RSS. After the second marriage, he seems to have lost his mental balance and, therefore, there is no point in further aggravating his mental tension by commenting on his remarks," Swamy told ANI.
Earlier, the Congress leader had said that the repeated instance of prisoners escaping from jails across the country suggested a larger 'conspiracy'.
"It is a serious issue. First SIMI activists fled the Khandwa Jail. Now, they have fled from the Bhopal jail. I have been reiterating that RSS activists and other similar organisations are behind the anti-Muslim riots in the country. It should be probed whether there is someone behind this or not," Singh told reporters.
Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh has also commented on the unverified video. "When an encounter happens, police has no other option, but to fire," he was quoted as saying by ANI.
The unverified video is linked below. Due to graphic nature of the video, viewer discretion is advised.