Bhopal: Eight members of the banned Students of Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) were gunned down in the outskirts of the State capital within eight hours after they escaped from the Bhopal Central Jail, which is ISO certified. Police officials claimed that the eight inmates fled the jail by using bed-sheets as rope and climbed the walls. Before leaving the jail, the inmates had killed a head constable by slitting throat. At around 11 am, all the eight outlaws were gunned down, IG Yogesh Choudhary told media persons at the site of encounter, stating that when cops reached there, the SIMI members opened fires on cops. We located the 8 inmates, they fired on us, and all of them were killed in cross firing, said Chaudhary.

Later, a 1 pm, in horridly convened press conference, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan congratulated the forces on successfully tracking down the escaped convicts. I want to congratulate our forces, but we are looking at this very seriously. The fleeing of prisoners is a serious matter, Chouhan said. He also briefed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh over the incident and requested him to hand over the investigation into the jailbreak to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

This is a serious matter therefore investigation will take place, further action will be taken based on the findings. I spoke to HM Rajnath Singh, I spoke about how NIA should carry out the investigation in the matter. HM agreed, Chouhan said.

The eight SIMI members have been identified as Amzad, Zakir Hussain Sadiq, Mohammad Salik, Mujeeb Shaikh, Mehbood Guddu, Mohammad Kalid Ahmed, Aqeel and Majid. Before fleeing the jail, they had tied upo another head constable Ramashankar.

The forces that played important role in locating the SIMI members and gunning them down were- district police force, Counter Terrorist Group (CTG) and Anti terrorist Squad (ATS). The encounter spot is located near Eintkhedi village under Gunga police station area.