Statesman news service
Bhopal, 1 October
In a daring jail-break, at least seven prisoners, including six alleged activists of banned outfit SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India) who were imprisoned for murdering three persons in broad daylight in 2009, escaped from Khandwa jail in Madhya Pradesh by breaking through the wall of a bathroom in the wee hours today.
According to police, the escape took place between 2.30 and 3 a.m. While fleeing, the prisoners stabbed and seriously injured two policemen on night patrolling duty who tried to stop them at some distance away from the jail. The criminals took away two loaded rifles, wireless sets and the cops’ motorcycle, which was later found in mud near a farm.
MP Director General Prisons Mr Surendra Singh confirmed the incident. “The SIMI activists are still at large and I am on my way to Khandwa to assess the situation,” Mr Singh told The Statesman. He said an inquiry had been ordered to ascertain the lapses that led to the escape and possibility of any insider element and other aspects of the incident. Khandwa SP Manoj Sharma said the alleged SIMI activists who escaped have been identified as Amjad, Aslam Ayub, Zakir Badul, Mehboob alias Guddu (all from Khandwa), Ejazuddin (of Narsingh Yard, Kareli, M.P.) and Abu Faizal (Juhu).
While the SIMI activists were at large till Tuesday afternoon, police had managed to nab the undertrial prisoner called Abid Mirza, who had also escaped. According to police, Mirza, a resident of Oont Kuan in the Hatampura area of Khandwa, was caught from the nearby Sarvodaya Colony. He is accused of planting a bomb at a nursing home and also in a ransom case, both in 2010.
Police said except for Amjad, all five SIMI activists were arrested in 2010-11 for the broad daylight murders of a policeman, an advocate and a bank manager on 28 November, 2009 at Khandwa. Police had also recovered controversial pamphlets and documents from their possession.
The injured policemen are Lokesh Hirve and Suresh Tiwary. They have been admitted to the district hospital for treatment. Jail Minister Mr Antar Singh Arya has ordered a probe.
The Union Home Ministry asked the state government to explain the security lapse and wanted to know what steps had been taken to arrest the Simi activists who had escaped.