Es­caped pris­on­ers shot dead by po­lice

The Myanmar Times - - World -

IN­DIAN po­lice gunned down eight Is­lamists yes­ter­day af­ter they es­caped from a high-se­cu­rity jail by slit­ting the throat of a prison guard and scal­ing the walls with tied-up bed­sheets.

The mem­bers of the banned Stu­dents Is­lamic Move­ment of In­dia (SIMI) had staged the break­out from the prison in Bhopal by at­tack­ing a warder with sharp­ened prison-is­sue steel kitchen plates in the mid­dle of cel­e­bra­tions to mark the Hindu festival of Di­wali.

Po­lice said they were later cor­nered on the out­skirts of the city in the cen­tral state of Mad­hya Pradesh but re­sisted ef­forts to take them back into cus­tody.

“We asked them to sur­ren­der but they tried to break the po­lice cor­don,” Bhopal po­lice chief Yo­gesh Choud­hary said.

“They were un­armed but at­tempted to at­tack the po­lice with stones. We had to shoot them.”

Af­ter es­cap­ing from prison, the in­mates made their way on foot to a vil­lage 15 kilo­me­tres (10 miles) south of the city cen­tre, de­spite a mas­sive search.

Po­lice said lo­cal res­i­dents had alerted them about sus­pi­cious move­ments in the vil­lage, lead­ing to the raid in the late morn­ing.

Po­lice in­sist there was no break­down in se­cu­rity at the prison, a sup­pos­edly max­i­mum se­cu­rity fa­cil­ity which has a roundthe-clock elec­tronic sur­veil­lance sys­tem.

How­ever four of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing the prison’s su­per­in­ten­dent, have been sus­pended and an in­quiry launched into the es­cape.

Most of the in­mates had been await­ing trial for “ter­ror-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties, sedi­tion and rob­bery” for more than three years, although two of them had only been de­tained since Fe­bru­ary. –

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