Judicial panel justifies Bhopal SIMI men's encounter

Eight members of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), who had escaped from the Bhopal Central Jail in October 2016, were shot dead by the police. PTI file photos

A judicial panel has justified as "reasonable" and "inevitable" the use of force by police that resulted in the death of eight members of the banned SIMI after they allegedly escaped from the central jail here in 2016.

Eight members of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), who had escaped from the Bhopal Central Jail in October 2016, were shot dead by the police near here.

"The use of force resulting in the death of the escaped persons was quite inevitable and quite reasonable under the prevailing circumstances," the judicial commission concluded in its report tabled in the Madhya Pradesh assembly today.

The state government had appointed a single member judicial commission to probe the sensational jailbreak and the subsequent alleged encounter killings. The Judicial Commission of Inquiry was headed by retired high court judge S K Pandey.

"The encounter on October 31, 2016 done by the police was reasonable under the prevailing circumstances. The action of the police was in consonance of the provision of law under sections 41 and 46 (2)(3) of the CrPC," said the report. The sections deal with arrest of persons by the police.

The report was tabled in the House by General Administration Department Minister Lal Singh Arya.

The commission also advised the government to impart an effective training to its officers and staff on the lines of Punjab to deal with such situations.

The panel said the state government should appoint a committee "to examine the security measures to stop the repetition of incidents of absconding/escaping of persons from jails".

"The Department of Jail has no institution of its own to impart an effective training to its officers and staff. On the lines of state of Punjab, the state government should endeavour to provide a training institute to the Department of Jail," it said.

The policy of recruitment of officers and staff should be strictly followed. Besides, the Department of Jail should be made part of the Department of Home so as to maintain better coordination, the commission said.

The eight SIMI activists, who were undergoing trial, had pulled off an audacious escape from the high-security jail on the intervening night of October 30-31 after killing a guard. They were gunned down in the reported encounter by police on the city's outskirts on the morning of October 31.

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Judicial panel justifies Bhopal SIMI men's encounter

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