Bhubaneswar: The eight terrorists of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) who had managed to escape from one of the most modernized and secured jails of the country in Bhopal (Central Jail), were killed within hours after they fled the jail early on Monday morning by killing the head constable, Rama Shankar. Odisha was on high alert following the terrorists escape.
The terrorists had arms and they were killed in cross firing, said Bhopal police. While Odisha DGP KB Singh has lauded the MP police efforts, the high alert in Rourkela continues.
At around 2.30 am, the terrorists killed Shankar by slitting his throat with steel plate and glass. They used bedsheets to climb the boundary wall of the jail, said police. Four of the eight accused had earlier attempted to flee from Khandwa Jail, 280 kms from Bhopal in 2013. One of the accused was involved in the Ahmedabad blast in 2008.
Four of the prisoners were arrested from Rourkela in February. The four are Zakir, Mehboob, Amzad and Mohammed. The four SIMI operatives along with the mother of one of them were arrested from Rourkela following a joint operation by the Odisha and Telangana police. Each of the SIMI members was carrying Rs 10 lakh cash reward on their heads, police said.
After their arrest in Rourkela, the Bhopal police took them on remand for interrogation as the accused were involved in a series of cases, including bank robbery, murder and sedition in Mandhya Pradesh. The four operatives had since been lodged in Bhopal central jail.
Police sources said the SIMI terrorists, wanted by NIA, were involved in at least 17 cases of terror attacks, including the Chennai train blast in 2014. They killed three cops in MP and Telangana in the past and were involved in a series of bank robberies, mostly in Telangana and MP. In Odisha, police suspect their involvement in a bank robbery at Sundagarh in September last year.
Madhya Pradesh State Home Minister, Bhupinder Singh has suspended the Superintendent and 4 jail officials and has ordered probe into the matter from the concerned authorities for the carelessness of the jail officials. However, news of their encounter came in within few hours after the terrorists had fled.