Bhopal: An SIT formed by Madhya Pradesh police on Wednesday 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 fake.
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 in Bhopal. 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 Bhopal Central Jail and directed strengthening of security measures.
The lawyer of the eight SIMI activists on Wednesday 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 weapons)."
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.