Did MP police help SIMI men escape jail, only to stage their encounter?

Eight SIMI operatives were killed in an encounter with the police in Malikheda on the outskirts of Bhopal.

Hours after the Madhya Pradesh police claimed to have gunned down all the eight SIMI operatives who had escaped from the Bhopal Central Jail in the wee hours of Monday, an unverified video has raised questions on the veracity of the encounter.

All hell broke loose when India woke up to the shocking news of eight SIMI operatives carrying out a jailbreak using bedsheets to scale the boundary wall. The government swung into action and suspended five jail officials. Union home minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the incident and sought a detailed report.

But things took a dramatic turn after the news of all eight men being killed in a police encounter in Malikheda area on the outskirts of Bhopal came in. Yogesh Choudhary, IG, Bhopal claimed the eight men were armed and fired on the policemen upon being intercepted. They were killed in cross-firing.

The chief minister called a press conference and lauded the police over the encounter, thereby announcing a probe by the National Investigation Agency. However. the video accessed by India Today TV raises questions whether the encounter was staged and if the fugitives were aided to escape from the prison.