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High alert as 8 SIMI men escape from Bhopal jail after killing guard

BHOPAL: While Madhya Pradesh Anti-terrorist squad (ATS) is yet to file a chargesheet in the 2013-Khandwa jailbreak incident, three of the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) members who were re-arrested after much efforts, made another second successful escape bid on Monday morning after killing a security guard and scaling the wall of the so-called ‘high-security’ prison in the state capital using bed sheets. This time they took along five other SIMI members with them. The Modus operandi was exactly the same.

A nationwide alert+ has been sounded. Most of them were charged with terror and other heinous crimes as members of the organization are linked to home-grown terror outfits like the Indian Mujahedeen with cases registered in Maharasthra, Gujarat, Kerala, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh among other states.

“Eight SIMI activists escaped around 2-3am by killing a jail security guard,” DIG Bhopal Raman Singh told media. They slit the guard’s throat with a steel plate and glass after overpowering him, he said.

The Union home ministry has asked the Madhya Pradesh government to send a detailed report about the jail break, whether there was any lapse on the part of the jail administration and the steps taken to check such incidents.

 State home minister Bhupendra Singh termed it an unfortunate event and suspended five prison officers with immediate effect for negligence in duty. A nationwide alert has been sounded. During a recent coordination meeting, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had asked jail authorities to be more vigilant on them, said the home minister.

SIMI members who escaped have been identified as – Mohammad Aqeel Khilji alias Abdullah s/o Mohammad Yusuf, Mehboob Guddu alias Malik s/o Ismail of Khandwa (MP), Mohammad Khalid Ahmad s/o Mohammad Saleem of Siolapur Maharashtra, Mujeeb Sheikh alias Akram alias Wasim alias Nawed alias Nitin alias Faizan alias Chintoo alias Yusuf s/o Zamkl Ahmad resident of Juhapura (Ahmedabad) Gujarat, Amzad s/o Ramzan Khan, Zakir Hussein Sheikh alias Vicky don alias Vinay Kumar s/o Badalul Hussein and Abdul Majid s/o Mohammad Yusuf of Ujjain (MP)

 Among these – Zakir Hussein Sheikh, Mehboob Guddu and Amzad were involved in the Khandwa jail break incident three years ago in the same month. That time seven hardcore terror suspects and SIMI operatives – led by SIMI’s MP chief Abu Faisal – had used iron bars to make way through Khandwa jail’s bathroom wall and break free. They had used an iron rod to dig a hole in the toilet wall from where they escaped. They used jail bed-sheets to scale the 20-feet high boundary wall.

“Abu Faisal could not escape this time as he was in the separate barrack. Or it seems he was not interested,” said a police officer on condition of anonymity.

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