Two days after eight members of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) were killed in an 'encounter' by police while attempting to flee from the Bhopal Central Jail, audio tapes suggesting that there is more than what meets the eye, has surfaced. The audio tapes of conversations allegedly between officials in the Bhopal police control room hint that the incident may have been planned in advance, rather than being a spontaneous 'encounter' to stop prisoners from escaping.
While the police claimed that the SIMI undertrials were killed in a gun-battle between them and the police, a video that surfaced soon after the incident showed eight unarmed men being shot from a close range by police. The authenticity of the video is being debated, but it has already cast a shadow of doubt on the police's claims.
In one of the tapes, a man is actually heard saying that they should stand by for some more 'farzi' (fake) operation. According to the tapes on Catch News, the men are heard saying at 7:42 am: "Sab peeche hat jao...kuch aur farzi operation karana pade to." (All of you move back...we might need to do some more fake operations.)
One of the most telling clips has someone presumably in position of power issuing directions that all of the men must be killed off, NDTV reports.
"Sabko nipta do." (Finish everyone)
"Bilkul peeche nahi hatna hai. Gher ke pura kar do kaam tamaam." (Don't hesitate at all. Surround them and finish them off.)
In one of the clips, people applaud after a man declares that all eight are dead. ""Sir, badhai ho, aathon maare gaye. (Congratulations, sir, all eight are dead).
"Very good, very good. We are reaching there," the commanding officer is heard saying.
Soon after the news broke, several questions have been raised about the police's methods and the veracity of their claims. It didn't help that Sanjeev Shami, head of Madhya Pradesh's anti-terror squad, contradicted the government and other police officials' versions of the incident and admitted the SIMI activists were indeed unarmed. However, as this report on NDTV says, he insisted that it was necessary to kill those men as they posed a grave danger to the country and the police is empowered to use excessive force and as when they deem necessary.