Indian Police Shoot Dead Eight Islamists After Prison Escape

Police officers and Special Task Force soldiers stand beside dead bodies of the suspected members of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), who earlier today escaped the high security jail in Bhopal, and later got killed in an encounter at the Acharpura village on the outskirts of Bhopal, India, REUTERS/Raj Patidar

By Jatindra Dash

BHUBANESHWAR, India, Nov 1 – Indian police shot dead eight Islamist prisoners who had escaped from jail hours earlier on Monday by using knotted bedsheets to scale the walls, officials said.

The men, members of a banned militant group awaiting trial, fled the high security jail in the early hours in the city of Bhopal, in Madhya Pradesh state, after slitting the throat of a prison officer.

Police tracked the armed men down after local villagers reported suspicious movements, surrounded them outside the city and shot all eight dead, inspector general of police Yogesh Choudhary told Reuters.

The escaped prisoners “fired on the police party first” he said. “In retaliation police fired and all eight were dead. Four firearms and three knives were recovered.”

The men had been facing charges including murder and robbery, Choudhary said. Three had escaped from another Indian prison in 2013.

All eight were members of the Students Islamic Movement of India, a group formed in 1977 which has been accused of involvement in bomb attacks across the country.

The home ministry has ordered an enquiry into the prison break, Indian media reported.

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