Saifullah’s father Sartaj said that what his son did was “not in the country’s interest”. “We will not accept the body of an anti-national,” he said. “He left home two months ago after I had beaten him up for not working. Last onday he called me up and said he is going to Saudi Arabia,” he said. Sartaj said that what his son did was “not in the country’s interest”. “We will not accept the body of an anti-national,” he said.
Eight pistols, 650 rounds of ammunition, 50 fired rounds, explosives materials, gold, some cash, passports and SIM cards recovered from the terrorist, Police said.
According to reports, the house belonged to Badshah Khan, resident of Malihabad, and the accused had been living there with two others for the past two months. They posed as students and did not mingle with the neighbours, an ATS official said and informed that efforts were now underway to nab the two accomplices who were at large.
One terror suspect was neutralised as anti-terror operation (by Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) commandos) in Thakurganj area of Lucknow in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh; ended after almost 12 hours in the wee hours of Wednesday.
The Lucknow operation began at 3.30 pm, when special commandos surrounded a house in Haji Colony of Thakurganj. The operation stretched till dawn and it was around 3 am when commandos blew up a wall to enter the house, and found Saifullah’s body, along with an ISIS flag and several weapons. He was killed at 2.56 am, according to the police.
Police refuted as “false” earlier reports of two terror suspects holed up in a house in the outskirts of Lucknow. “After opening the doors of the house, where the terrorist was holed up, the force went inside and found the suspect dead along with weapons,” Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Daljit Chaudhary said.
There was plenty of confusion during the encounter. The ATS had managed to drill a micro tube camera through the roof of the house in which the Islamic State operative Saifullah was holed up. Imagery suggested that there was another person. However at the end of the encounter it was found that Saifullah was alone. During the course of the encounter, the police managed to nab two persons, Faizan and Imran who are believed to have assisted Saifullah in executing the train bombing. The IG of the ATS Assem Arun said that they tried to get Saifullah to surrender. However he refused to do so and said, “I want to attain shahdat (martyrdom).”
According to IG ATS Aseem Arun, forces first made all the efforts to nab the suspected terrorist alive, but when that didn’t materialise forces had to fire tear gas shells and chilly bombs. And again holed up terrorist Saifullah didn’t surrender. “The commandos where then stormed inside the house, after issuing a warning to the terrorist,” Arun said, adding “The suspected terrorist fired at the ATS commandos, which was then appropriately retaliated by the commandos.”
The police said Saifullah was a member of the Khurasan module of the ISIS, which was planning to attack a Sufi shrine in UP. Around eight or nine people were part of this group. Five have been arrested and one is dead.
The group is suspected to be involved in the blast on the Ujjain-Bhopal train in Madhya Pradesh yesterday. A train time table was found near Saifullah’s body and the bomb was allegedly assembled in the house.
The operation began around 3.30 pm yesterday, when reports emerged that the police were hunting for two terror suspects hiding in the house. Other residents were warned against coming out of their homes while the operation was on.
A little before 5.30 pm, the police learnt that the suspect was Saifullah, and dialed his brother in an attempt to get him to surrender. After connecting with Kanpur-based Khalid, the police slid the mobile phone under a door. As Khalid tearfully begged his brother to surrender, he reportedly replied, “I won’t, I want martyrdom”.
Around 6.15 pm, the police used chilli bombs and tear gas to try and force Saifullah out of the house. Nothing worked, said anti-terror squad officer Aseem Arun.
As it neared 7 pm, around four hours into the operation, the suspect was believed to have been wounded in firing by the commandos.
The police learnt from neighbours that the house was rented six months ago to four young men by a man called Badshah, who works in Saudi Arabia. The men had told neighbours that they were students.
At around 8.30 pm, the commandos called for a generator to switch on lights, and gas cutters to try and break the wall.
Close to 10 pm, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh declared a terror alert for the entire country.
Around that time, the police also got proof that a suspect is alive. The man started firing an hour later. According to the police, he fired repeatedly and that is when the security personnel retaliated. The firing died down around 1 am. But it resumed an hour later, when the suspect tried to escape by breaking through the back wall.