Defending police role in the killing of eight SIMI activists in an alleged encounter, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today said that the terror accused stay in jail for years before they are sentenced and "keep eating chicken biryani".
"It takes years to sentence them. They keep eating chicken biryani (in jail)... they escape and indulge in more crimes and attacks.... If we can have fast track courts for corruption cases, why can't we have fast track courts for sentencing terrorists?," Chouhan said addressing a function yesterday.
An SIT formed by Madhya Pradesh Police today inspected the site of alleged encounter while a separate investigation began into the jailbreak by extremists by recreating the scene.
Chouhan today inspected the Central Jail from where eight SIMI activists escaped after killing a constable and were later gunned down by police on Monday. The opposition and families of the victims have questioned the police version.
The Chief Minister was apprised of the security arrangements and he instructed the authorities to further tighten it.
The CM was accompanied by Chief Secretary B P Singh, DGP Shukla and MP Jail Director General Sanjay Choudhary.
Chouhan had yesterday slammed the "dirty politics" being played over the killing of eight SIMI operatives by police and said the slain men were "dreaded terrorists" who could have wreaked devastation.
Speaking to reporters after paying tributes to Head Constable Ramashankar Yadav, who was killed by the activists while escaping from the Bhopal Central Jail yesterday, Chouhan had said he was pained to see that certain politicians were making a "hue and cry over the terrorists but not saying a word of solace for the martyred policemen."
"I am pained to see the kind of politics being played out. Some politicians are turning a blind eye to the sacrifices of the martyrs. They are unable to see the sacrifice of Ramashankar Yadav. These were the same terrorists who first killed Shivpratap Kushwaha (policeman) in Ratlam and then they murdered Sitaram Yadav (policeman) in Khandwa and now Ramashankar Yadav.
"...had there been some solidarity and sympathy for the martyred jawans...I would have understood. But, they are playing vote-bank politics over incidents like these," he had told reporters.
The CM added that those killed were "dreaded terrorists who could have wreaked devastation if they had been fully successful in escaping."
Separate probes into jailbreak, encounter begin
An SIT formed by Madhya Pradesh Police today inspected the site of alleged encounter where eight SIMI men were gunned down on Monday while a separate investigation began into the jailbreak by extremists by recreating the scene.
The CID team led by SP Anurag Sharma also examined some people about the encounter, which has come under scanner with opposition parties and the lawyer of the slain SIMI activists pointing to several alleged smoking guns to claim that it was
Former Director General of Police Nandan Dubey, assigned by the state government with the task of investigating the daring jail break, visited the Central Jail here. The jail break scene was recreated as part of the probe and Dubey examined some prisoners also.
"Yes I spent more than three hours in the jail. I have started the investigation," Dubey told PTI.
Asked about the lapses that led to the SIMI activists' escape, he said it was too early to jump to any conclusion.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also inspected the Central Jail here and directed strengthening of security measures.
The lawyer of the eight SIMI activists today claimed that they had sustained gun shots in the head and chest. He claimed that he had seen the autopsy reports of the slain men.
"They were fired upon from the front and all of them sustained injuries in their head and chest, above the waist," lawyer Parvez Alam told PTI.
Repeating his claim that it was a fake encounter, he said that according to a Supreme Court ruling, police should fire below the waist.
The SIMI activists were killed on the city outskirts at Malikheda following their escape from the high-security jail after slitting the throat of a security guard and scaling the 32-ft wall using bedsheets in the wee hours of October 31.
Meanwhile, state Home Minister Bhupinder said any video or evidence about the encounter should be submitted to the SIT.
The minister said the slain men were dreaded terrorists who had killed policemen earlier.
"The swiftness with which the police acted against then should be appreciated," he said, adding that, "Ending terrorism is a pripority for our government. We will not compromise at any cost when dealing with terrorism."
On claims that the SIMI men were unarmed, he said, "It could have been so when they escaped from the jail. But they had lot of time after that (to get hold of eapons)."
ATS Chief Sanjeev Shami maintained that the police was well within the law "to resort to maximum force" if they see the possibility that dreaded criminals who are a threat to society may escape.
In New Delhi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh did not specify when the National Investigation Agency would conduct a probe into the case.
"We have not yet received anything (from the state). The Madhya Pradesh government has already ordered an investigation," he said.
Chouhan had earlier said that NIA would probe the case.
(With PTI inputs)