Lucknow terror standoff: ATS corners suspected militant, possible links to MP train blast - Operation underway
| 07 Mar 2017
| NOP Bureau, Lucknow

At least one suspected terrorist, identified as Mohammed Saiful, is boxed up in a home in Thakurganj, Lucknow. The Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad is on the spot and an operation has been on for the last four hours. Uttar Pradesh police today morning received inputs regarding possible terror suspects hiding in the state. Following the inputs, one team was sent to Kanpur while the other team arrived in Lucknow. The Kanpur team made one arrest in the matter.

The incident comes hours after a blast on a Bhopal-Ujjain train in which at least eight people were injured. Madhya Pradesh's DIG has confirmed that the blast was a terror attack, and five people have already been arrested in the matter in the state. Both, the Kanpur suspect and the one involved in the Lucknow operation, are suspected to have links to the blast. The operation and the blast both come a day before the seventh phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh.
The ATS team has now resorted to using a gas cutter to break the house gate. The effort seems to be focused on nabbing the suspect alive. Police teams haven't fired a single bullet and have limited themselves to using stun grenades and chili pepper bombs. National Security Guard on standby, could move to Lucknow to assist ATS. The house's caretaker had given four youngsters access to the home. However, only Mohammed Saiful, the suspect, is holed up inside right now.

The house where the suspect is holed up belongs to a Saudi Arabia-based person named Badshah. The suspect has been boxed in, and the operation is limited in its scope, Chaudhary has said. The suspect has no hostages, ADG Chaduhary confirms. Chaudhary adds they are making efforts to nab him alive. They have getting family members to convince him to surrender. Additional Director General of Uttar Pradesh Police Daljit Chaudhary says they are unable to link the suspect to any organisation yet, but confirms that his name is Mohammed Saiful. The National Capital Region has been put on high alert following the Lucknow encounter.

Noida police is on high alert and is carrying out preventive checking in malls and cars, the SSP of Noida said. Wasim Arun IG, ATS, says the team is using chilli pepper bomb in an effort to catch the suspect alive. Meanwhile, the UP police has started carrying out raids in different locations across the state. Police have also carried raids in Kanpur, where a terror suspect was nabbed earlier today. The Union Home Ministry is keeping a close watch on the situation. The ministry is in touch with UP police and intelligence agencies. UP Director General of Police says they are trying to convince the suspect to surrender.
An ambulance has reached the encounter spot. Continuous firing heard from inside the house. Police has used fired stun grenades inside the house.

The encounter is in its last stage, and ATS team has stormed the house. Mohammed Saiful, the suspect in a standoff with the UP ATS, is a suspect in the train blast. In a related development, the Madhya Pradesh Inspector General (law and order) has confirmed that the Bhopal-Ujjain train blast was a terrorist attack.
Sources say more terror suspects could be hiding in the state. Search operations on. UP-based ISIS module carried out the blast in a train in Bhopal today morning, sources tell us . Three suspects picked up from Madhya Pradesh. Two located in Uttar Pradesh. One arrested from Kanpur, other one holed up in Thakurganj. Uttar Pradesh police's commandos will be used for the operation. The tip off regarding the suspects came in from outside the state.

One man was arrested from Kanpur. Chowdhary added, that tip off regarding the suspect came in today morning. Following the inputs, UP ATS dispatched two teams, one Kanpur and the other to Lucknow. Will only be able to find out about the suspect's links and background once we conduct investigations, he adds. We are trying to arrest him alive but can't say say anything more on the operation, the ADG adds. Additional Director General (law and order), Daljeet Choudhary said the suspect is from Lucknow and has weapons on him.

Firing as resumed between cops and the suspect(s). He added that there may be more than one suspected terrorist. UP DGP has said that the operation to flush out the suspect is ongoing. According to MHA sources, Uttar Pradesh police received a tip off regarding the suspect from authorities in southern states.
On being asked to surrender Saifulah refused saying 'I want to attain shahadat'. Inspector General of the ATS is personally leading the operation. Firing was earlier reported from the area, but has now stopped. The ATS team is using tear gas to flush him out and firing has been reported from the area.

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