Madhya Pradesh Police and the state’s Anti-Terrorist Squad killed 8 Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) terrorists on the morning of 31 October in an encounter.
These terrorists had escaped from Bhopal Central Jail in the wee hours of Monday after killing a head constable inside the jail premises. The National Investigation Agency has been ordered to investigate the jailbreak.
This is the second encounter by state forces this month. A week back, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha police had killed 24 Maoists in Malkangiri district, at Andhra-Odisha border.
Activists cried that the Malkangiri encounter was a ‘fake’ one. And now leaders of the opposition political parties are raising question about Monday’s alleged encounter of these eight undertrials.
Encounters, sometime ‘fake’ are a common extra-judicial measure adopted by the Indian police. Some police officers in Mumbai achieved stardom, films were made on their lives, and a few even built schools. Some of them were also proven to be corrupt and to be working with specific agendas.
But what is the scale of encounters (fake or not) in India? How many prisoners escape from custody in India? Here are the answers:
- Total number of fake encounter cases registered against the police in India from April 2011 to June 2014, according to a reply in the parliament.
- Of this, 118 cases were disposed and 250 cases were pending.
- Seemingly, fake encounter shot up from 2009-10 to 2011-12. In 2009-10, 103 cases were registered. The number rose to 197 in 2011-12.
- These numbers include encounters by police, defence and the paramilitary.
- Number of encounter cases against the police received by National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) between October 2015 and September 2016.
- Chhattisgarh led all the states with 66 cases, followed by Assam (43), Jharkhand (15), Odisha (10), Maharashtra and Meghalaya (both 7 cases each) and Uttar Pradesh and Manipur (5 cases each).
- West Bengal had 11 cases registered against it in the NHRC. However, these cases are not against the state police but against paramilitary forces.
- Number of persons escaped from police custody during 2015.
- Of them, 184 or more than 10% escaped from inside the lock up and the rest from outside the lock up.
- 870 of these prisoners could be rearrested.
In the past, much political storm has been kicked up by allegations of fake encounters, from the Ishrat Jahan killings to the killing of Maoist leader Kishenji.
Edited by Aleesha Matharu