Terror suspect Saifullah was killed in a 12-hour operation on the outskirts of Lucknow (PTI photo)
Lucknow: Saifullah, the terror suspect found dead after a 12-hour operation to capture him in Uttar Pradesh's Lucknow yesterday, was part of a group that was planning a major strike in the state at the end of this month, sources have said. 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.
Here is a detailed account in 10 points
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.