Congress demands probe into release of SIMI members


Bhopal : The opposition Congress in Madhya Pradesh Friday alleged that a Bharatiya Janata Party minister and officials took Rs.3 crore bribe to release five activists of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) from jail on Republic Day.

Congress spokesperson K.K. Mishra Friday demanded a high-level inquiry into the issue.

“The Congress party has serious allegations against the BJP leaders and Madhya Pradesh government officials that they conspired in the release of the SIMI activists,” he said.

“Jail Minister Jagdish Devda, principal secretary for jails Sudesh Kumar, director general for jails V.K. Pawar and BJP state general secretary Tapan Bhowmick took Rs.3 crore to release the SIMI members. Bhowmick played a key role in it,” Mishra claimed.

“For the BJP leaders, the RSS and SIMI activists are all same and they help them one way or the other. I will disclose how and where the money came from once the inquiry is ordered,” Mishra told IANS.

On every Republic and Independence Day the government releases prisoners who have completed half of their term and showed good conduct during the period.

The administration of Khachrod sub-jail in Ujjain had Jan 26 released five SIMI members – Jadil Parwaj, Aiyaz Riyaz Ahmed, Akbar Afzal Khan, Mehruddin Shaikh and Irshad Ali.

They were arrested March 31, 2008 for allegedly possessing “anti-national literature” and convicted Jan 12 this year and sentenced to five years in jail. By Jan 26 this year, they had spent over 33 months in jail, about half of the sentence they were awarded.

The Bajrang Dal had demanded an inquiry into the issue and the re-arrest of the five SIMI members.

The government Thursday removed the jail director general, V.K. Pawar, from the post.

Minister Devda, however, termed the charges “rubbish” and said there was no conspiracy in the release of the five SIMI members and that all the rules have been followed in it.