Uttar Pradesh police and government officials on Wednesday continued to be clueless on the whereabouts of the terrorists who killed seven Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and a civilian in Rampur early on Tuesday.
Four masked terrorists armed with AK-47 rifles sneaked into the CRPF Group Centre, located off the Grand Trunk Road on the outskirts of Rampur, about 300 km from state capital Lucknow, around 3 am. They first gunned down the sentry before barging into the nearest tent, and opened fire on the sleeping men, said Inspector General of Police Gurbachan Lal.
A police constable and a Home Guard were injured in the exchange of fire that followed after the CRPF personnel fired back. A stray bullet killed a rickshaw puller who was passing by.
Sources said police have zeroed in on the terrorist organisation that was involved in the attack but other details are yet to be ascertained.
Sources from the Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) said no substantial headway had been made in the investigation into the attack. A team of the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) was rushed to the spot from Lucknow on Tuesday and is camping there.
"Based on phone call intercepts, we came to know that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is involved in the operation. Other groups like Harkat-ul-Jehad-al-Islami (HuJI) could have lent it logistical and other support," an intelligence department official told IANS on condition of anonymity.
Police sources said they also suspect that more than two people were involved in the attack.
Police have now almost discarded the initial claim of CRPF personnel that one of the terrorists was shot in the leg.
"Chances are small that the terrorist could have escaped after being hit. There is not much evidence to support this," the intelligence official said.
Sources added that the attack could not be deemed a fidayeen (suicide) attack as the terrorists had escaped.
"Had it been a fidayeen attack the terrorists would have fought till death," said a police official.
The union home ministry has asked the DGP for details of the attack.
Chief Minister Mayawati and senior Uttar Pradesh officials have blamed the CRPF for laxity when specific intelligence inputs had been provided warning of an attack on the Rampur base.