8 terrorists of Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) which is banned in India were gunned down by Anti-Terrorism Squad on the outskirts of Bhopal on Monday morning. These terrorists had killed a head constable brutally, scaled a 32-foot-high prison wall and escaped from the high-security Bhopal Central Jail approximately 9 hours before they were shot dead. “8 SIMI men encountered by Anti-Terrorism Squad on the outskirts of Bhopal” has become a fresh headache for MP government since the opposition has started to raise doubt on the authenticity of the encounter.
Some opposition leaders like Digvijay Singh and others had raised questions regarding the encounter. However, the fact was that all these criminals were key members of SIMI’s Abu Faisal module that had direct links with the terror group Al-Qaida to free 9/11 accused Aafia Siddiqui from FBI’s custody in US. Three of them were repeat offenders, arrested in February 2016 after they escaped from the Khandwa district jail in 2013.
The same module had a blueprint to assassinate PM Narendra Modi and had planned to bomb Sabarmati Central Jail in Ahmedabad and tunnel out SIMI supremo Safdar Nagori. They were also accused in the Ahmedabad blast of 2008, Chennai Central blast of 2014, 16 bank robberies in Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha, murders of four cops and the Khandwa jail break.
According to the reports and resources, there was heavy firing from both sides. Police has dismissed criticism over the encounter of eight SIMI activists near Bhopal, saying that there was heavy exchange of fire. After the encounter four country made guns and some sharp- edged weapons were recovered from these terrorists.