New Delhi: Former Supreme Court Judge Justice Markandey Katju has said it appears that Bhopal encounter of eight SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India) activists was apparently fake. It is not just Justice Katju who has called the encounter of the eight under trials in high security Bhopal prison as fake, several other political leaders, human rights activists and community leaders have made the similar claims.
Yesterday, reports came that eight under trials in the high security Bhopal jail had escaped from the prison after killing a jail guard with spoon and steel plates used in the prison kitchen. Merely a few hours later, the reports of encounter were all over the media showing footage of encounter and the dead bodies strewn over a hilltop.
The home minister of the state Bhupendra Singh told NDTV that the fugitives were armed with spoons and plates they had snatched from prison. “The state’s Home Minister Bhupendra Singh said the prisoners attacked the police and injured them. “The police had no choice but to kill them. They were dreaded terrorists,” Mr Singh told NDTV. He later clarified that he only meant the prisoners used utensils inside the prison.”
Justice Katji not just denounced the encounter, but also demanded trial of all the officials, politicians and policemen involved in it. “From what I could gather, the so called ‘encounter’ in Bhopal was fake, and all those responsible for it, not only those who did the actual executions, but also those who ordered it, including politicians and senior police officers, must be given death sentence, as held by my bench in the Supreme Court in Prakash Kadam vs. Ramprasad Vishwanath Gupta.”
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He went on to add, “In the Nuremburg trials after the end of the Second World War the Nazi war criminals took the plea that ‘ orders are orders ‘. But this plea was rejected, and most of them were ordered to be hanged.”
“So trigger happy policemen who think they can do extra judicial killings and get away with it should know that the gallows await them” Justice Katju added.