Eight activists of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), who had escaped from Bhopal Central Jail late last night after killing a prison guard, have been killed in an encounter near Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh said.
Times of India reported the men were killed in an encounter mid-morning in Ithkhedi village on the outskirts of Bhopal.
"There have been lapses by the jail. There will be an investigation," Singh said.
The SIMI men had used sharp edges of prison plates and glasses to slash the throat of the guard.
The men scaled the prison wall with the help of bed sheets, following which some officials responsible for jail security have been suspended
"Eight SIMI or Students Islamic Movement of India activists escaped at around 2-3 AM by killing a jail security guard," DIG Bhopal Raman Singh told PTI.
An alert had been sounded across the state. State government had also announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh each on the heads of the activists.
They were identified as -- Amzad, Zakir Hussain Sadiq, Mohammad Salik, Mujeeb Shaikh, Mehbood Guddu, Mohammad Kalid Ahmed, Aqeel and Majid, an official said.
The Union Home Ministry had also sought a report from the Madhya Pradesh government about the jail break. This was the second major jail break by operatives of banned SIMI in three years after the sensational escape by seven members of the group from a jail in Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh in 2013.
The Home Ministry also 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.
SIMI was banned by the government in 2001. Four jail officials including the Superintendent have been suspended after the eight SIMI activists escaped. (With inputs from PTI)