The RSS on Wednesday praised the Madhya Pradesh police that killed eight suspected SIMI members on Monday and said they “had no other option but to kill the fugitives” amid the growing opposition clamour for a judicial probe into the encounter.

Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Madhya Pradesh police and local police of Bhopal killed the eight suspected men of the banned Students Islamic Federation of India (SIMI), hours after they escaped from a high-security jail in Bhopal.

“Police teams were frantically chasing the fugitives and they came under heavy firing. They (SIMI operatives) had killed a guard in jail and managed to scale the walls and run away from the prison. They were all threat to the nation,” Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader Narendra Jain told Hindustan Times.

Speaking for the first time since the incident, Jain said the RSS has taken a serious note of the incident and is concerned that anti-India forces are always on the prowl to carry out subversive activities to cause harm to the nation.

“We all need to be alert and be the true sentinel on the ground,” he said.

Jain also said moles may have been planted at important locations in India and support of someone within the Bhopal Central Jail cannot be ruled out in the dramatic prison break.

The RSS, which is considered the ideological mentor of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has a huge support base in Madhya Pradesh and reports say that after its birth in September 1925, one of the first sakhas of the organisation in India started actively organising people in the areas of the present district of Betul.

Though SIMI was launched in Aligarh in 177, it grew in some pockets of Madhya Pradesh, including at the holy city of Ujjain. It believed to be the parent organisation of the Indian Mujahideen.

It was supposed to look after the welfare of Muslim youth but gradually adopted a more hardline ideology, especially after the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992.

The government banned the outfit in 2001 but experts say many erstwhile members who went underground managed to stay in touch and expand their network.

“We are not concerned about the present strength of SIMI in Madhya Pradesh, but any form of an anti-India campaign is a serious threat,” Jain said, adding that even one fidayeen can kill a lot of innocent people.

The RSS leaders demanded that Madhya Pradesh government and the Centre should tackle anti-India operatives with an iron fist and ensure the safety and security of the common people.

The encounter killing of the SIMI operatives has turned into a tug of war with chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan accusing opposition leaders, who have questioned the authenticity of the encounter, of doing “petty politics”.

Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh, who was among the first politicians to question the encounter, alleged that the government had intelligence input about the SIMI prisoners’ plan to escape from the jail but it didn’t act on it.