Police were yet to procure proof that Saifullah — a terror suspect killed in a 12-hour standoff with security personnel in Thakurganj near Lucknow — was directly affiliated to the Islamic State, additional director general (law and order) Daljit Chaudhary said on Wednesday.
Bomb-manufacturing equipment, passports, ID cards, eight pistols, timers, wires and over 600 live cartridges were among the articles recovered from the site of the encounter, he told mediapersons at a press conference in Lucknow.
However, Chaudhary denied reports that 23-year-old Saifullah’s alleged Islamic State module received financial support from the international terror group. “They were not provided with any external financial aid. They were mostly self-radicalised,” the police officer said, adding that many youngsters like the slain terrorist have been exposed to the Islamic State’s propaganda through the social media.
Chaudhary claimed Atif Muzaffar, who was arrested from Madhya Pradesh, was helming the suspected Islamic State module that Saifullah hailed from. Six others were also arrested across Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Inspector general (Anti-Terrorism Squad) Aseem Arun said Saifullah was given ample opportunities to surrender. “We initially tried flushing him out with chilli bombs. We began firing only when he shot at us when we tried to enter,” he added.
Saifullah and the other members of his group are suspected of carrying out an attack on the Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train on Tuesday morning.
Ten people — including two teenage girls and two women — were injured in the incident. Home ministry sources said the investigation into the Lucknow encounter is likely to be handed to the National Investigation Agency.
Earlier, Saifullah’s father Sartaj had refused to take his body, maintaining that “a traitor cannot be my son”. “A traitor cannot be related to me, let alone be my son,” he said.
Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan congratulated security officers for solving the Bhopal-Ujjain train blast case. “A timer was used, and terrorists were nabbed. I congratulate the officers involved. This was possible only due to coordination between the police and the Anti-Terrorism Squad,” he said.