Bhopal Encounter: NHRC wants report in 6 weeks; Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh silence

BHOPAL: The Director General of Police has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the CID to probe the encounter of eight SIMI activists, who had fled from the Central Jail early on Monday morning. Meanwhile, the NHRC and the State HRC have also taken cognizance of the incident.

SP Anurag Sharma will lead the SIT. The constitution of the SIT follows doubts being raised about the veracity of the encounter. The SIT will submit its report to the DGP.

The state government has already decided to handover the probe into the jailbreak by the SIMI activists to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had announced on Monday that he made a request to the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to this effect, which has been accepted. However, no official announcement in this regard has been made by the Union Home ministry. The state government has also asked former DGP Nandan Dubey to enquire into the jailbreak.

Meanwhile, the NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of the encounter. An official press release of the NHRC said that the Commission has issued notices to chief secretary, director general of police and the DG and IG, prisons, government of Madhya Pradesh, calling for detailed reports in the matter within six weeks.

“The Commission”, the press release said, “has always been concerned about the deaths in police and judicial custody and in police action. Specific guidelines have also been issued by it, which have been conveyed to all the States/UTs for compliance in the matters of encounter”.

The state HRC has issued notice to the IG of Bhopal zone seeking report in the matter within 15 days. The eight SIMI activists were killed in an alleged encounter with police on the outskirts of Bhopal hours after they escaped from the high-security Central jail there killing a security guard on Monday. As a controversy raged over the police action after the daring pre-dawn jail-break, TV channels had shown footage purportedly from the encounter site in which a policeman is seen pumping bullets into a man from close range after some unidentified person takes out what appears to be a knife said to be in a plastic cover and places it back.

Modi, Shah, Rajnath maintain silence

The state government may be gloating over the encounter of eight SIMI under-trials but the central government is maintaining a stoic silence on the issue.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not said anything on the encounter. Besides Modi, BJP national president Amit Shah and Union minister for home, Rajnath Singh too have chosen to keep mum.

Modi, who attended a programme on the Foundation Day of Chhattisgarh on Tuesday, did not say anything on the encounter. Modi has neither congratulated the police personnel nor has praised the state government.

Modi, Shah and Rajnath have not posted any Tweet on the incident so far. As of now, only the BJP national spokesman has released a formal statement on the incident. Union minister of state for home, Kiran Rijiju, defending the state government has said that the role of authorities and police should not be suspected in such incidents. He said one should wait for the facts to come.

Other leaders at the Centre and the allied parties of BJP too have are maintaining silence. Sources said the Centre has sought full report on the incident from the state government. The state government has sent preliminary information from its side and the central government is getting the facts checked. No big leader wants to speak in the matter till full facts come to the fore.s

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal