Bhopal, Oct 31: Amid clamour for a probe by the opposition parties, Madhya Pradesh Police today asserted that the eight SIMI activists, who escaped from a prison here, were "killed during an encounter," without elaborating on the details of the operation.
"Soon after they escaped from the jail by killing head constable Ramashankar and by tying another warden Chandan, the eight SIMI terrorists identified as Sheikh Mehboob, Amzad, Zakir Hussain, Mohammad Saliq, Majid, Khalid Ahmed, Aqueel and Sheikh Najeeb were killed in an encounter with the police at Manikheda Pathar near Eintkhedi village," a statement issued by the Police Headquarters said.
The search operation was launched by senior police officials in which specialised units of Bhopal Police were included. Besides entire police force in the state was sounded alert on the issue and their photos were also released on social media, it said.
"During intense search by the police, suspected terrorists were spotted at Manikheda Pathar near Eintkhedi village where they were killed during an encounter," it said.
"After getting information about the killing of all eight terrorists in an encounter, Madhya Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) Rishi Shukla and other top police officers reached the spot," it added.
The state government had announced a reward of Rs five lakh each on the heads of the activists. This is the second major jail break by operatives of banned SIMI in three years after the sensational escape by seven members of the group from a jail in Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh in 2013.
The Union Home Ministry has sought a detailed report from the Madhya Pradesh government on the jail break seeking to know if there was any lapse on the part of the jail administration and steps taken to check such incidents.
Earlier in the day, Congress and AIMIM have demanded an inquiry to ascertain the authenticity of the encounter claiming there were contradictions in statements made by a senior police officer and state Home Minister about the operation.
IG Yogesh Choudhary said the fleeing SIMI activists had weapons in possession and opened fire when confronted and the police fired in retaliation. Home Minister Bhupendra Singh said SIMI activists had made weapons out of spoons and plates they had carried from the prison and attacked the personnel with them.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, while briefing reporters on the jail break and subsequent developments, declined elaborate on the details of the operation.