Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh today said that the SIMI activists who were gunned down in an encounter with police on 31 October after a jail-break were armed. With this statement the home minister contradicted the state ATS chief's statement that they had no weapons.
"According to the police's official report to us, the SIMI activists were armed during the encounter and they fired first," said Singh.
When it was pointed out that Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Sanjeev Sami had told a TV channel that the SIMI activists were unarmed, Singh said, "I have been informed officially that they were armed."
Asked if he was going to have a word with Sami over the issue to clear the air, the minister replied in negative.
"The SIMI men were dreaded (criminals) and they fired first at the police. Police fired in defence, in which SIMI men were killed," Singh added.
"The SIMI terrorists were expert in making weapons. They slit the throat of a guard in the jail after making a knife out of a plate which they left behind," the minister said.
"They might have procured arms in the jail or outside after fleeing. All this is being thoroughly probed," Singh said.
ATS chief Sami could not be contacted for his reaction.