Jailbreak: Kin of SIMI activists appear before judicial panel

BHOPAL: Family members of the all the SIMI activists, who were killed in an exchange of fire with police in October 2016, appeared before the judicial commission probing into the jailbreak and the subsequent encounter in Bhopal, on Wednesday.

Justice SK Pandey Commission had summoned them for the hearing at its office. The commission, after hearing all the parties concerned, scheduled the next date of hearing on March 21. “Earlier, we had requested the commission regarding several issues and we were provided with the replies of the officials concerned. Now, we will go through them and put forth our arguments before the court during the next hearing,” said advocate Sajid Ali, counsel for the kin of Mohammed Saliq who was killed in the encounter, while speaking to TOI.

Advocate Parvez Alam, who is the counsel for kin of deceased Abdul Majid Nagori, said, “I had requested court to provide us the copies of the FIRs, inspection reports and post-mortem reports of the deceased. The court had instructed the officials concerned to look into the matter and provide the same, if need be. We will apprise court, if we are not provided with those copies during the next hearing.” Counsel for kin of two other deceased Mujeeb Sheikh and Aqueel Khilji, Zeenat Anwar said, “Only after going through all the replies given by the officials concerned we will present our views during the next hearing.”

Among the kin of the alleged SIMI activists were an octogenarian grandmother and a partially blind grandfather. “I only met him once during his stay at Bhopal jail. It was several months before the incident. My grandson had some premonition when he said this is the last time we are meeting. I never imagined that what he is saying will come true,” said 80-year-old Huzra Bee, the grandmother of Mohammed Saliq.

The partially blind grandfather of Mehboob Guddu, who was killed in the encounter, looked lost. Guddu’s father had died and it was only Guddu who used to live with his ageing grandfather, Sheikh Kallan. The old man is partially blind and is dependent on help and donations from neighbours for meeting his ends.

On the night of October 30 last year, 8 alleged SIMI operatives managed to escape from the Bhopal Central Jail and were later killed at Manikhedi village in an alleged exchange of fire on October 31, around 8 hours after the jailbreak. These eight were identified as Zakir Hussain, Mehboob Guddu, Mohammed Aquil Khilji, Mohammed Saliq, Amjad Khan, Mujeeb Sheikh, Mohammed Khalid Ahmad and Abdul Majid.