BHOPAL: The eight activists of Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), who killed a prison guard and escaped from the Bhopal Central Jail in the early hours of Monday were hunted down and killed by the Bhopal police less than 10 hours later.
Dawn broke on Monday with news of the sensational escape of the eight men of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) from the high-security prison. The prisoners used their steel plates to cut the throat of a prison guard, Ramashankar Yadav, at around 2-3 just after a change of guard, and used bedsheets 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 terror charges across several states including bank holdups.
Soon after the jailbreak, the Madhya Pradesh state government released their sketches and suspended four officials including the jail superintendent Akhilesh Tomar. It announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh for capture of each of the SIMI fugitives.
Acting on leads provided by local people, the Bhopal Police tracked them all down to Malikheda on the outskirts of the city. They were encircled and killed when they tried to challenge the police, Madhya Pradesh home minister Bhupendra Singh said.
The Union Home Ministry has sought a detailed report from the Madhya Pradesh government on the jailbreak.
This was the second major jailbreak by SIMI operatives in Madhya Pradesh in three years. In September 2013, seven men, also of SIMI, escaped from a jail in Khandwa.
Four of the fugitives from the Khandwa jailbreak were arrested in Rourkela earlier this year in a joint operation by the police of Odisha and Telangana. Before their capture from a hideout in Rourkela, the four men -- Zakir Hussain Sadiq, Amjad, Md Saliq and Shaik Mehboob -- was allegedly involved in about 17 cases of terror, murder of policemen and bank heists in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and UP.
One of the eight SIMI men killed today is an accused in the Wagamon SIMI camp case probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Kerala. The agency's detectives suspect that the 31st accused in that case, Mehaboob Malik alias Sheik Mehbood alias Guddu, was among the eight SIMI men killed after the breakout in Bhopal today.
According to NIA officials, Mehboob escaped from the Khandawa Jail in Madhya Pradesh last year before he was arrested by the Telangana police in February. Another accused in the Wagamon case, Mohammad Abu Faisal Khan, is also lodged in the Bhopal Central Jail.