Bhopal encounter: war of words escalates, Mamata raises
The war of words over the killing of eight SIMI activists in Bhopal after the jail-break escalated today with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleging "political vendetta" and that many questions remained unanswered while the BJP hit back at Congress.
The lawyer representing the families of the eight activists, meanwhile, claimed that all the deceased sustained gun shots in the head and chest above the waist in the alleged police encounter on Monday, hours after they escaped from the Bhopal Central Jail.
"They were fired upon from the front and all of them sustained injuries in their head and chest above the waist," lawyer Parvez Alam told PTI claiming that he has seen the postmortem report of the deceased.
Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief, said her party did not agree with the "so-called encounter theory".
"We do not agree with the so-called encounter theory.
Many unanswered questions arise in the minds of the people," Banerjee said in a tweet.
"This is all happening in the name of political vendetta. Issues like these make me deeply concerned about national integrity & unity."
At a press conference in Hyderabad, BJP national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh took on Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh for raising questions about the genuiness of the alleged police encounter.
"They (SIMI men) must have thought the Congress was a safer place than the jail (and hence escaped). By speaking in support of the terrorists, Congress leaders seem to be trying to protect them," Siddharth alleged.
"It is unfortunate that the Congress is seeking to link terrorism with religion. The Congress leaders are expressing sympathy towards the slain terrorists. Why are they not talking about the police constable who was killed in the encounter?," he questioned.
Referring to Digvijaya's poser why only Muslims escaped from the prison, the BJP leader remarked that they might have felt the Congress to be a safer place for them.
Bhopal police has dismissed criticism over the encounter killing, saying there was heavy exchange of fire in which they were felled after which four countrymade guns and some sharp-edged weapons were recovered from them.
The mother of Mujeeb Sheikh, one of the slain SIMI activists, alleged that his killing was a conspiracy. Sheikh was buried in Ahmedabad amidst tight security.
Talking to mediapersons after the burial, Mumtaz Sheikh said her son was not a terrorist, and that she will continue to fight for justice.
"My son is not a terrorist, his crime has not been proved, and his murder is a conspiracy. I will continue my fight under law and I believe I will get justice," she said.