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Lucknow encounter confirms Islamic State threat to India is near and real

The Madhya Pradesh Police on Tuesday blamed the Islamic State for the Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train which injured nine people.

Closely connected to this attack was the 12-hour long encounter in Lucknow, in which the Uttar Pradesh ATS gunned down a suspected terrorist linked to the Khoarasan module of the Islamic State.

"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. "At one point of time, it appeared that more than one person was holed up inside the house," he added. An ISIS flag along with eight pistols, 650 rounds of ammunition, 50 fired rounds, explosives were recovered from the spot. The ATS also recovered gold, cash, passports, SIM cards and a train timetable were found along with the suspect's body, the India Today reported.


NDTV quoted ATS squad member Aseem Arun as saying that the anti-terror outfit had tried to contact the slain terrorist Saifullah's brother in an attempt to persuade him to surrender without any bloodshed. However, Saifullah refused to surrender, choosing "martyrdom".

The Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh police have arrested five members out of the eight to nine members of the Khorasan module so far, NDTV reported.

As the cloud over the encounter is clearing, more details of the Khorasan module's modus operandi are coming out.

According to a report in India Today, all the suspects were in constant touch with their Islamic State handlers through social media. The police, on the other hand, had been keeping a close eye on their activities online.

Family of Shafiullah shocked

Regretting Shafiullah's actions, Sartaj, his father, has refused to accept his body. Another relative expressed shock, stating that his radicalisation was totally unexpected.



Political reactions to the encounter

Home Minister Rajnath Singh is expected to give a statement on the issue.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday said that the perpetrators of Bhopal-Ujjain train bomb explosion were influenced by ISIS ideology and the incident was a "trial blast" as the terrorists planned to carry out more attacks. Speaking in Madhya Pradesh Assembly, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that those who orchestrated the blast arrived from Lucknow and planted the bomb in the passenger train as part of a "pre-planned conspiracy". Congress, on the other hand, attacked the ruling BJP on the security situation just on the election eve.


Reacting to Congress leader PC Chacko's criticism, Bihar BJP leader Giriraj Singh slammed him for questioning the encounter.


With inputs from PTI


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Updated Date: Mar 08, 2017 20:45:31 IST