Narada News Impact: MP DGP orders CID probe in SIMI encounter
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan finds himself in a quandary with different organs of his state speaking in contradictory voices on the SIMI encounter case. Following the killing of the eight SIMI undertrials on Monday, the state’s police chief Rishi Kumar Shukla has asked for a CID probe into the shooting as per the Supreme Court guidelines – first reported by Narada News on Tuesday.
MP’s Home Minister Bhupendra Singh is insisting there is no need for any investigation. Shukla is standing by his guns and has said, `It is mandated by the law that the state’s CID will investigate the encounters for a free and fair probe.’ He’s apparently following the SC guidelines on encounter cases issued before the Diwali vacation. Narada News was the first to report about these guidelines.
The killings of the eight undertrial suspects have snowballed into a major controversy especially since three videos taken by local villagers have already been released on social media.
One video shows five of these boys standing on a large crop of stone waving to the cops in an obvious intent to show that they wish to surrender. Another video shows a police cop pumping a bullet into an injured undertrial. There is a growing clamor amongst the opposition leaders and also human right lawyers who are demanding a judicial probe at the highest level. Said Supreme Court lawyer Vrinda Grover, ` On the face of it, these ( these killings) do not add up. The videos show these boys were not armed and so, I believe, it is in the interest of the nation that we have a court-monitored investigation.’
Grover further said, ` We have a history of fake encounters which are dressed up under the garb of our nation being under internal and external threat. We are also in the throes of an institutional crisis as we do not know which institutions inspire confidence. To cite an example, we have witnessed 1,528 encounters in Manipur. The Supreme Court ordered an inquiry into six of these encounters, all of which have been found to be fake. It has now ordered that all these encounters be investigated. If the petition had not been filed, would we have unveiled the truth?’ Grover asks.
Senior advocate Rebecca John is equally harsh.` The sheer brazenness with which the cops believed they could get away with these killings is shocking. What is even more alarming is the large majority of Muslim men who are being put away into prison.
The latest data for 2015 revealed by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows that two-thirds of all jail inmates are either Muslim, Dalit or tribals. These three communities account however for 49 percent of the nation’s population. What is alarming is that while Muslims comprise a larger proportion of the undertrial population (21 percent in jails), they comprise 15 percent of the convicted population.
Extra-judicial killings in India is now being highlighted in the United States by their state department in a 2015 report which speaks of `extra-judicial’ killings in which the gunning down of 20 suspected red sandalwood smugglers by the Andhra Pradesh special task force and also the gunning down of five terrorists by the Telangana police on the same day in Nalgonda while transporting them from prison to a Hyderabad court. Several other incidents of extra-judicial killings have also been shortlisted in the US report.
Chief Minister Chouhan finds himself in the eye of a storm amid a media gaze which he would have done without. No wonder Home Minister Singh is sticking to his guns and insisting, ` There is no need for any investigation into the encounter……Bhopal Police Range Inspector General Yogesh Choudhary has already briefed the media about details of the encounter yesterday. He (IG) has briefed how the encounter took place. So there is no need for any inquiry,” Singh said.
Meanwhile, sources close to DGP Shukla point out that he has already asked Superintendent of Police (CID) Anurag Sharma to head the probe into the encounter. Families of these eight boys are moving the Bhopal High Court for a judicial probe and are threatening to take the matter up to the Supreme Court also.