BHOPAL: The Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday cleared the decks for tabling before the State Assembly the much-awaited report of the single member judicial commission that probed the killing of eight alleged Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) operatives who had escaped from the Bhopal Central Jail on October 30-31,2016 night.
The state cabinet chaired by the CM on Tuesday decided to table the report of the single member commission which has already been submitted to the government in August 2017. “The report has been submitted to the state government and the cabinet has decided to table the report,” said state government’s official spokesperson and minister of public relations Narottam Mishra, while briefing journalists about cabinet’s decisions on Tuesday.
Importantly, the single member commission headed by retired judge of High Court Justice SK Pandey had submitted its voluminous report to the state government in August 2017. The report, however, wasn’t tabled by the state government in the winter session of the State Assembly.
With the state government now deciding to table the report, the report is now likely to be tabled in the Vidhan Sabha’s ongoing budget session, which ends on March 28.
On October 31, 2016 early morning, eight alleged SIMI operatives had escaped from the high-security Bhopal Central Jail after killing a guard and holding another jail guard captive. Just a few hours later, the eight jail-breaker SIMI men were gunned down by the police in an encounter in Gunga area on the outskirts of Bhopal.
The eight SIMI men, who were killed in the encounter, included Aqeel Khilji, Sheikh Mehboob alias Guddu, Zakir Hussain, Amjad Khan, Mohd Saliq, Mujeeb Sheikh, Khalid Ahmad, and Majid.
On November 7, 2016, the state government appointed the judicial commission, headed by retired High Court judge SK Pandey, to probe the encounter and related aspects. The commission was given five terms of reference, including the sequence of events leading to the jailbreak, measures to prevent jailbreaks in future, the sequence of events that led to the killing of the SIMI operatives and any other related issue that the commission deemed fit to look into.
Meanwhile, the judicial panel constituted in June to probe the killing of five farmers in police firing in Pipliyamandi town of Mandsaur district on June 8, 2017 has been given one month extension. According to an official release of the state government on Tuesday, the government has extended the term of the judicial commission headed by retired High Court judge JK Jain by one month to April 11.
The probe panel’s term was to expire on March 11, after being granted three extensions by the state government.
Meanwhile, the opposition Congress questioned the state government on why the killing of the SIMI men in the October 31, 2016 encounter in Bhopal and the killing of five farmers in the June 2016 firing in Mandsaur was missing from the latest Annual Report of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.