Bhopal encounter: Families of killed escapees to move high court seeking CBI probe

The police had yesterday dismissed criticism of the killings, saying the eight escapees had died in a heavy exchange of fire and that four country-made guns had been recovered from them. Photograph:( ANI )

PTI Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India Nov 01, 2016, 08.24 AM (IST)

A day after eight suspected SIMI activists were killed in an alleged police encounter following a daring prison break here, their families have decided to approach the Madhya Pradesh high court seeking a CBI probe into what they dub "cold-blooded murders".

"The families of the deceased have come to me and are weeping inconsolably for justice. We are going to move the MP high court for a CBI probe into the entire incident," lawyer Parvez Alam told PTI.

"It is surprising that the authorities are claiming that the accused climbed the 32-feet boundary wall of the jail. Is this possible?" he asked.

Police have claimed that the escapees were killed yesterday in an encounter hours after they escaped from the high-security Central jail where they had slit the throat of a security guard and scaled the wall using bedsheets between 2 AM and 3 AM.

Alam described the encounter as "fake" and said, "The TV grabs show police and ATS firing. There is no evidence that the accused fired."

"This is a fake encounter and (these are) cold-blooded murders," Alam claimed.

He said Inspector General Yogesh Choudhary had last night told media that the accused made keys from toothbrushes and used them to open their cells.

"Can someone open the keys of high-security Bhopal Central Jail that has earned an ISO certificate with keys made of toothbrushes?" he wondered.

"What lie these authorities are speaking," he said.

"Our first course of action after the funeral of the accused killed in the encounter is to move the HC for justice," he added.

The kin of seven accused have already reached Bhopal to receive their bodies and take them to their place for burial, Alam said.

He said that no one has yet claimed the body of Mohammad Khalid, a resident of Solapur in Maharashtra.

Family members of accused Sheikh Mujeeb are taking his body to Ahmedabad, while Abdul Majid's mortal remains are being taken to Mahidpur area in Ujjain district of MP, he said.

Bodies of the rest, Amjad Khan, Zakir Hussain, Mohammad Salik, Sheikh Mehboob and Aqueel Khilji, all hailing from MP's Khandwa district, are being taken to their homes, Alam added.

Yesterday, the police had dismissed criticism over the encounter killing of the eight escapees near Bhopal, saying there was heavy exchange of fire in which they were killed after which four country-made guns and some other sharp-edged weapons were recovered from them.

Also, IG Chaudhary repeatedly maintained that all questions raised over the encounter were a matter of investigation as the series of events over seven hours between their escape and killing were still being probed.

This came soon after a controversy raged over the police action following the daring pre-dawn jailbreak, as TV channels showed footage purportedly from the encounter site in which a policeman is seen pumping bullets into a man from close range after some unidentified person takes out what appears to be a knife said to be in a plastic cover and places it back.

Besides the veracity of the video, police is also probing how the SIMI terror suspects could lay their hands on weapons after their escape.

(PTI)