BHOPAL: The families of the eight Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) undertrials who were shot dead by the Bhopal Police after their jailbreak on Monday are contemplating to move the Madhya Pradesh High Court seeking a CBI probe.
They said the shootings were "cold-blooded murders". Their lawyer Parvez Alam was quoted by PTI as saying, “The families 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."
He added, "It is surprising that the authorities are claiming that the accused climbed a 32 ft boundary wall of the jail. Is that possible?"
Video footage of the killings, aired on local TV channels, has led to questions being asked about the veracity of the police version of the episode.
The footage, purportedly of the encounter, showed a policeman pumping bullets into a man from close range after an unidentified man takes out what appears to be a knife from a plastic cover and places it
back in it.
Madhya Pradesh home minister Bhupendra Singh said the prisoners used steel plates and spoons to cut the throat of a prison guard, Ramashankar Yadav, at around 2-3 am just after a change of guard, and used bed sheets to climb over the compound wall.
The eight men -- Amzad, Zakir Hussain Sadiq, Mohammad Salik, Mujeeb Shaikh, Mehbood Guddu,Mohammad Kalid Ahmed, Aqeel and Majid -- were facing charges relating to a number of terrorist activities across several states including bank holdups.
Police claimed to have tracked them down to the locality of Malikheda on the edge of town and encircled them.
They claimed to have been challenged by the fugitives, who had to be shot dead. Inspector-general Yogesh Chaudhary said the undertrials were in possession of weapons and opened fire, which led to the police firing in retaliation.
Choudhary’s post-encounter claim that the SIMI militants had firearms seemed to contradict home minister Bhupendra Singh’s statement earlier in the day that they were only armed with steel plates and spoons.