Eight members of the banned Students of Islamic Movement of India outfit, who had escaped from Bhopal Central Jail after killing a security guard, were shot dead in an encounter at Eintkhedi village on Monday morning. Deputy Inspector General Raman Singh said the militants had overpowered the guard and killed him with a "steel plate and glass", after which they used bedsheets to scale the prison walls.
The SIMI members fled the prison between 2 am and 3 am on Monday. Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh said five officials of the jail had been suspended for letting the activists escape. He blamed the prison administration's negligence and added that a high alert had been sounded across the state. The National Investigation Agency will look into how the undertrials were able to flee, PTI reported.
Director General of Bhopal Central Jail Sanjay Choudhary said the SIMI members had injured another guard on duty in their bid to escape. He said the additional director general of the prison had been asked to investigate lapses at the jail, and that security had been heightened for other prisoners there.
Union Home Affairs Minister Rajnath Singh has sought a detailed report on the jailbreak from Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan. Security has also been stepped up in Delhi in the wake of the SIMI militants' escape.
SIMI is an Islamist extremist organisation that was started in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, in April 1977. It was banned by the government in 2006.