Staff members at Bhopal jail were in for a rude shock as eight operatives of the Students of Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) broke out of the prison on Monday. A major man hunt was launched and within hours all terror suspects were killed in an encounter, outside the city.
The mastermind behind the jailbreak, Abu Faisal aka Doctor, had earlier escaped from Khandwa jail in 2013, reported India Today. Police authorities say that this time the operation was planned meticulously as the SIMI operatives moved during the guard duty change and slip one of the guard’s throat using steel plate and glass.
The escapees used the bed-sheets and shawls, given to prisoners by jail authorities, to scale walls.
Abu Faisal, a Mumbai resident, was said to be an expert at creating sleeper cells and planning escape from prison. He had been shifted to Bhopal from Delhi’s Tihar jail one and a-half-years ago. Faisal was said to be the handler of sleeper cells present in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, MP and Maharashtra.
Noting his working relationship with Chhattisgarhi Naxalites, Faisal’s escape raised serious security concerns as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to visit the state on its foundation day on Tuesday.
India Today reports that it came to know of an intelligence input that had been sent to union home ministry about a possible attempt of jailbreak in Bhopal. The intelligence alert though was not taken seriously as it was not followed up with action.
The home ministry sought a detailed report of the incident from the Madhya Pradesh government after the jailbreak. Five officials including the jail superintendent were suspended.