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SIMI MEN WERE NOT ARMED: MP'S ATS CHIEF

Madhya Pradesh's anti-terror squad chief Sanjeev Shami on Wednesday stood by his earlier statement that the eight SIMI activists shot dead in Bhopal on Monday were not armed when they were killed. "It is well settled in law when police can use force and take life. These men were dreaded criminals. If the police sees the possibility that such men can escape, they can use maximum force... Even if the police are not being fired at," Shami told NDTV. On Tuesday, Shami was quoted by media as saying that the eight Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) men were unarmed when they were killed.

"I stand by my earlier statement," Shami told the TV channel when asked for his comments. The eight undertrial activists of the banned SIMI were shot dead in an alleged gun battle, hours after they escaped from a high-security jail here. The police had said that the accused were armed when they were cornered and asked to surrender. The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had called for a probe, alleging that the "encounter" may have been staged to kill the accused.

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