The SIMI encounter is about the 8 SIMI activists that were killed in an encounter by the Madhya Pradesh Police. The authorities claimed that these under trials escaped from jail between 2 AM to 3 AM at the night of 30th October when the entire nation was asleep after celebrating Diwali. Before escaping, they killed the head constable on duty. He was cremated a day later where Chief Minister Shiv Raj Singh participated.
The question here arises: Whether the encounter was really an encounter or some strategy by the MP police to take revenge in a savage way?
Were they armed?
Madhya Pradesh Police: the under trials had 4 pistols and 2 knives.
State Home Minister Bhoopendra Singh: They used utensils as a weapon.
ATS chief Sanjeev Shami: Denied that they were armed.
Sarpanch: They threw stones.
How did they escape?
Bhopal Prison is not a disco or a bar where you can easily figure out the blind spot of a bouncer. It was the first jail in India to be awarded ISO 9001 certificate in 2002. The wall was 32 feet tall. To give you more perspective, height of the Great Khali is 7 feet 1 inch.
The wall was fenced with live wire. The jail has around 2400 inmates and is constantly under surveillance by CCTVs. It has watchtowers and is constantly manned by Special Police Force. Unless and until this is some new season or version of Escape Plan or Prison Break, there is hardly any speculation of 8 under trials escaping together and getting encountered after 12 kilometers of travelling.
Entire SIMI gang planned this?
Assuming that the entire SIMI gang planned the escape from jail, then why would the leader of the group, Abu Fasal, be lodged in a different cell? Why not just treat them all the same.
Did they really need to escape?
The advocate of the under trials said, “The trial was going on and there are only 18 to 20 witnesses remaining. Being their lawyer, I can say that there was no ample evidence against them, factually or legally. There is no reason for them to break the jail. The court judgement was expected to come out in weeks, most probably in their favour.”
So why would the need to escape arise if the judgment was predicted to be in their favour?
Emergence of the video
Two videos have emerged following the incident of the SIMI encounter. One video shows the prisoners alive and interacting with the police officials from a distance. Another video displays police officials shooting the already hurt victims in order to confirm their death. We do not guarantee the authenticity of the videos.
Looking at the videos, raises the doubt about what kind of encounter was this where civilians and officials are able to shoot a video at the sight of the act? And what thrills me more is that this is the kind of encounter that must have happened with the previous encounters.
What’s more heinous?
Almost each, every and all media house is quoting such under trials as terrorists. It is to be humbly mentioned here that unless and until the court pronounces a person convict, no person has any right to call him a terrorist or a convict. This is not a matter of religion or a matter of national pride, some rules and regulations have to be followed.
Folks often criticize India’s judiciary system but to be honest, police authorities are the biggest problem and threat for achieving justice. There have been several cases of fake encounters. If tomorrow, I am accused of being a member of SIMI and before the matter is decided by the court I am killed in an alleged encounter, is that justice?
The Supreme Court in various judgments has laid down guidelines for the treatment meted out to under trials.
I am not calling the under trials innocent. Don’t get me wrong. But there is a thing called prisoner’s right. Even though a person is in jail or prison, he has all the rights guaranteed by the constitution but under the shade of that prison.
There’s a rule in criminal law: An accused in considered innocent until proved.
Can the encounter be questioned?
Yes. Absolutely, it should be. Without questioning the encounter, the police authorities would have complete autonomy and that would not be good for anyone. Not even you. Tomorrow they could shoot you and call it an encounter. What would you do then? Nothing, you’re dead.
An investigation is necessary in such cases in order to bring out the realities of our police system.