Security forces gunned down a terrorist early on Wednesday morning in an operation that lasted for nearly 10 hours in the thickly-populated Thakurganj area of Lucknow. Reports suggest that the terrorist was linked to the explosion on a train in Madhya Pradesh which injured nine people on Tuesday morning. Earlier, it was said that two terrorists had holed up in a house and refused to surrender, however, Additional Director General (ADG) of Police of Uttar Pradesh Daljeet Choudhary confirmed to ANI that only one man was in the building and that he has been neutralised.
“After opening the door (of the building the terrorists had holed up in), the forces had gone inside and found one person dead. The suspect was found dead inside the house with weapons. During the operation it was felt at one point of time that there was more than one person, but it is confirmed that there was only one man. The operation stands closed and now the rest of the legal formalities will take place,” he said.
Speaking to the media here from the scene of the encounter, Uttar Pradesh Anti Terror Squad (ATS) Inspector General Aseem Arun revealed that the neutralised terrorist was a member of the ISIS Khorasan module.
“We got the intelligence from a sister agency that a person named Saifullah affiliated to ISIS is hiding in a residential area in Lucknow. We the cordoned the area and launched an operation to ensure that he was caught alive. We took the aid of chilly bombs and tear gas shells to smoke him out but to no avail. Then we stormed in after giving a warning and he opened fire on ATS commandos and we returned the fire. Later his dead body was found,” he said.
The IG further informed that a bag was found strapped to his back which is likely to be laden with explosives, adding that the bomb disposal squad will clear the house first and then the investigation will be launched.
He also noted that a lot of restraint was used during the operation as the goal was to ensure the terrorist was captured alive.
“Anyway, we are satisfied that no civilians or security personnel have been injured and the operation ended successfully. A pistol, revolver, ammunition and a knife was recovered from the body. This terrorist was a member of the ISIS Khorasan module,” Arun added.
Meanwhile, security has been tightened on the Indo-Nepal boarder of Pilibhit area in the wake of the encounter and vehicles coming towards Lucknow are being thoroughly searched by the state Police.
Search operations will be carried out throughout the night in restaurants and shops located at the side of the highways.
Besides checking vehicles, the police are also interrogating people and the registers of the hotels are also being scanned. The police are even checking the personal belongings of people travelling in buses from Nepal to India.