The UP Police arrested on Thursday two men, including a retired IAF airman, the alleged mastermind of a suspected terror module whose member was killed after a 13-hour standoff a day earlier.
Gaus Mohammed Khan, who was arrested from Lucknow, was the neighbour of 23-year-old Saifullah Khan, the slain suspected militant.
The other suspect, Azhar, was nabbed in Kanpur, police said. He had escaped when an anti-terror squad (ATS) raided his home in Kanpur on Tuesday.
With the two arrests, all the main members of the “IS-influenced module” had been nabbed, police said.
The module was unearthed after a blast in a Bhopal-Ujjain train in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday.
Khan was an airman for around 15 years before he took retirement to set up a leather business in his home town of Kanpur, ATS inspector general of police (IGP) Asim Arun said. Khan, who moved to Lucknow three years ago, radicalised young and educated Muslims, Arun said, adding the same group was responsible for the Bhopal-Ujjain train blast
He targeted the youth who visited his neighbourhood mosque in Kanpur, another ATS official said. He met Saifullah and others at the same mosque and distributed IS literature among them.
He even visited Saifullah Khan in the house where he was gunned down.
While the UP Police have stuck to module drawing inspiration from IS, home minister Rajnath Singh didn’t mention terror group when he talked about the Saifullah Khan in Parliament on Thursday.