A gunfight between two suspected terrorists and security forces erupted in the Thakurganj area of Lucknow on Tuesday evening, officials said.
The Anti Terror Squad of Uttar Pradesh cornered the armed suspects who refused to surrender, an official said, even as commandos were rushed to the site.
Lucknow SSP Manzil Saini said late on Tuesday night that micro camera drilled through the roof showed that the suspects were injured. Initially, the authorities suspected there was only one suspect.
The suspects were believed to be behind a minor blast in the last coach of a Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train near Kalapipal, around 80km west of Bhopal, on Tuesday morning. Eight passengers were injured in the incident, and an official in Madhya Pradesh said the blast was triggered by a pressure pipe bomb.
Four people were picked up from Madhya Pradesh’s Pipariya, and the suspects were from Aligarh and Kanpur.
The police in Uttar Pradesh sounded an alarm soon after the incident as two more people were picked up from Kanpur’s Jajmau area for their alleged involvement in the blast.
“In the operations in Kanpur, one Faizan was arrested...On Faizan’s information, police arrested one more suspect, Imran, but another one...managed to escape”
After the Lucknow operation started, additional director general (law and order) Daljeet Chaudhary said the Lucknow suspect was a resident of the city.
“All the suspects are related to Ujjain train blast,” he said.
Chaudhary said the Uttar Pradesh police got a tip-off that suspects in the train blast were hiding in Kanpur and Lucknow.
“In the operations in Kanpur, one Faizan was arrested...On Faizan’s information, police arrested one more suspect, Imran, but another one...managed to escape.
“A parallel operation was launched in Lucknow to nab Saiful, who came to hide at a cleric’s house in Thakurganj in Lucknow. The house has been surrounded from all sides. The police and ATS asked him to surrender but he communicated that he will attain ‘martyrdom’. He has sophisticated weapons.”
The ATS inspector general, Asim Arun, said the suspect locked the room before securitymen arrived.
“In order to arrest him alive, we used chilli bombs but he has not come out yet. He is firing intermittently,” he said.
Authorities asked the power agency to ensure that uninterrupted electricity supply in the area of the operation.
Top police sources said the priority was to catch the suspect alive. Police also launched operations in other districts for more suspects.
Union home minister Rajnath Singh spoke to UP director general of police Javeed Ahmed to take stock of the operation in Lucknow.
(with inputs from Indore)