- 6 men arrested, one shot dead
- Self-funded terror cell with no external support, says UP police
- They had handler who guided them online, say other agencies
Sources in the National Investigation Agency, which is handling the case, offered a different version from the UP police. They said the group had a handler, most likely based abroad, of as yet undetermined nationality. They said the group had been active for at least six months in planning attacks and that its ringleader, Atif Muzzaffar, is a dropout from Aligarh Muslim University.
He was arrested yesterday along with two other men in Madhya Pradesh. "Paraphernalia shows terrorists' links with ISIS, they sent a photo to handler via social media," said Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to news agency ANI.
When Saifullah, originally a resident of Kanpur, was shot, an ISIS flag was found near him. His father, Sartaj, has refused to accept his body today, saying he "cannot make his peace with a traitor."
Apart from Saifullah, six members have been arrested, including two of his cousins who lived in Kanpur. The others were caught in Madhya Pradesh, where the group is accused of planting a low-intensity bomb on a train yesterday that injured nine people.
Security camera footage helped identify three men who were caught within hours in Madhya Pradesh; information shared by them led to Saifullah and the other arrests in Uttar Pradesh. The group was planning to attack a shrine in Barabanki, just 29 km from Lucknow, as also the famous Imambara monument, a grand complex that houses a shrine in Lucknow, said sources handling the investigation.