A video claiming to show a part of Monday's encounter between the Madhya Pradesh police and alleged members of the banned Student’s Islamic Movement of India who had escaped from jail casts doubts over the state administration’s claim that they had been killed in a gun battle.
In the footage, police can be seen shooting at close range at men lying on the ground.
Earlier on Monday, eight undertrials allegedly escaped from Bhopal Central Jail after killing a security guard. The men fled to the outskirts of the city, where the police claim they were intercepted and killed in a gun battle.
The Inspector General of Police Yogesh Choudhary claimed that the men were armed and there was crossfire.
However, a video accessed by News18, which claims to have been shot at the site, shows the men lying on the ground with the police firing at them without any retaliation. It is unclear whether the men being fired at are dead or injured.
Additionally, no firearms can be seen on the SIMI men. Unidentified voices urge the shooter to fire "ek aur", one more round.
At the start of the video, a policeman pulls out one metal object – possibly a knife – stuffed down the trousers of a man lying on the ground.
Three years earlier, a jailbreak in Khandwa town had seen seven SIMI members escape. Two of them were later killed by the police in Telangana. After the jailbreak, SIMI members facing trial were shifted to Bhopal Central Jail, seen as the most secure in the state.
Update: Another video shows the same scene shot by a different person. A voice shouts "zinda hai", he is alive [00:44] followed by the policeman shooting one of the men lying on the ground.