Four days after eight SIMI activists were shot dead within hours of their escape from the Bhopal Central Jail, two audio tapes surfaced, purportedly detailing conversations between securitymen involved in the operation, with one saying “gher ke kardo poora kaam tamam” (surround them and finish the job).
In the clips, a person can be heard saying firing from the other side has started and asks policemen to take positions. They are told to communicate less on wireless sets and use phones to ensure better communication with police teams reaching the spot.
The audio tapes, which come in the wake of video clips that did the rounds within hours of the operation on October 31, raise questions about the official version of the sequence of events.
Asked about the audio clips, SP (CID) Anurag Sharma, who is heading the investigation into the operation, did not question the authenticity of the clips. “We will include everything in our investigation,” Sharma told The Indian Express but said he was yet to hear the tapes.
IG (Bhopal) Yogesh Chaudhary said he did not have time to hear the audio clips and all questions should be directed to the CID which is heading the probe. The longer of the two audio tapes is a nine-minute clip that ends with a round of applause. “Patel sahib, nipta do (Patel sahib, kill them),” says a voice that has praise for a senior police officer for clearing the operation and criticism of another for lacking courage.
At one point, a voice is heard saying “finish them quickly’’ because a senior officer is about to reach. Voices on the audio clips celebrate the deaths and congratulate each other. “Five killed, three to go” can be heard. The audio clips include what appear to be conversations on wireless sets between the control room and policemen involved in the operation, and name some police officers and others by using standard codes like Mic1 and Mic2.
“Surround them from all sides. They should not escape alive… Congrats aantho mar gaye DSP Crime ne bataya. Very good… beech mein pade hain (Congratulations, all eight have been killed, DSP Crime has said. Very good. The bodies are lying in the middle),” the clips record.
“Go ahead, bilkul nahi peeche hatna hai. Aur jitney Charlie hai unko bhi batao, gher ke kardo poora kaam tamam (Don’t back off. Tell all Charlies, surround them and finish the job),” is one conversation, supposedly between Mic1 and Sigma.
A person can be heard saying, “Aaye hai sir, 5 ko goli lag gayi jai, chalo shabash, koi dikkat nahin hai, hum log pahunch rahe hain (five have taken bullets, congrats. No problem, we are reaching).” A voice demands that two-three ambulances be sent to Khejrawadi. “Ilaaj karne me kitna paisa kharcha hoga (How much money will be spent on treatment).” At one point, someone says, “Koi zinda rehna chahiye (Someone must be kept alive).”
“Sir ko batao, aantho maare gaye, encounter success ho gaya. Over (tell Sir that all eight killed, encounter is successful).” “Abhi media bhi nahi pahunchi hogi, media me bhi dum nahin hai (the media may not have reached, the media doesn’t have guts).”
The clips also record instructions to cover the bodies from all sides because they may have to be verified.