Lucknow shootout: In a first, Rajnath Singh expresses solidarity with killed terrorist’s father Sartaj, offers ‘sympathy’

By: | Updated: March 9, 2017 1:29 PM

In a first in India, a day after the killing of the terrorist Saifulla and the end of the dramatic Lucknow shootout and the arrest of 7 other members of the gang, Home Minister Rajnath Singh stood up in Parliament today and gave his statement in the Lok...

The probe in the Lucknow encounter to be conducted by NIA, says Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Lok Sabha. (Reuters)

In a first in India, a day after the killing of the terrorist Saifulla and the end of the dramatic Lucknow shootout and the arrest of 7 other members of the gang, Home Minister Rajnath Singh stood up in Parliament today and gave his statement in the Lok Sabha on the case in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. After explaining what had happened during the shooting and how the intelligence agencies and the police had come together to contain the damage and neutralise the attacker Saifulla, Home Minister Singh then proceeded to explain to the gathered Members of Parliament (MPs) about the biggest highlight of the entire case that would make every Indian hold up his head in pride. Singh said that when policemen went to Saifulla’s house and asked his father to accept the body of his slain son, the answer by Mohammad Sartaj was amazing. Singh explained that not only did Sartaj call his son ‘anti-national’, he disowned him too and refused to have anything to do with his own flesh and blood by saying, ‘Wo jo desh ka na ho saka, woh mera kya hoga’. Singh mouthed each and every word that Sartaj spoke – “I don’t want to see his dead face even” (uska mara hua muh nahi dekhna).

Sartaj had also said yesterday that ‘I have worked very hard all my life to get by and he has destroyed it all’. He reportedly was asked by the Lucknow Police to try and make Saifulla surrender peacefully but all the entreaties of the kin had fallen on deaf ears. Saifulla had, in fact, said that he wanted ‘Shahadat’ (martyrdom).

Saifulla was earlier linked to Islamic State (ISIS) earlier by Uttar Pradesh Police but this was later denied. He was initially said to be part of the ‘Kanpur-Lucknow ISIS Khurasan’. The entire case had shocked the nation. It began with the explosion of a bomb on the Bhopal-Ujjain train that injured 9 people. Almost immediately thereafter came the news of the shootout in Lucknow. While 7 other members of his group have been arrested, Saifulla was killed after police failed to catch him alive despite repeated efforts through the use of chili bombs.

The probe in the Lucknow encounter to be conducted by NIA, says Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Lok Sabha.

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