The Uttar Pradesh police have sounded an alert after a gunman, suspected to be inspired by the Islamic State (IS) terror outfit, was shot dead in Lucknow following a gunbattle on Wednesday. The police in NCR areas of Noida and Ghaziabad have stepped up security measures following the alert, and also in view of the vote counting and upcoming festivals.
“We have asked all police stations to be alert and to perform checking of hotels, dhabas, bus terminals and areas around railway stations for suspicious objects and persons. There is already an alert ahead of the vote counting and Holi festival, but security has been strengthened further after the Lucknow incident,” Deepak Kumar, the senior superintendent of police (SSP), Ghaziabad, said.
The UP director general of police, Javeed Ahmad, also sounded an alert and ordered raids of guest houses, hotels, railway stations, bus stations, airport and dhabas located on highways. The police have also been asked to detain all suspects for questioning.
The Gautam Budh Nagar police enhanced security and sensitive areas in Noida and Greater Noida were placed under a close watch. Officials said there will be regular vehicular checks in the city and paramilitary forces have also been stationed at strategic locations across the city.
“Although we have not received any particular intelligence, we have stepped up security measures in the city. Security was to be strengthened due to the announcement of the assembly election results on Saturday, which is followed by a number of festivals,” Dharmendra Singh, SSP, Gautam Budh Nagar, said.
The police said that announcement of the election results may escalate tension in some areas. Some hamlets in the district are communally sensitive, and we are keeping a close watch on these areas, the SSP said.
During the gunbattle, a huge cache of arms and ammunition, an IS flag and literature were recovered from the room where Saifullah alias Saiful, 23, was gunned down in Lucknow’s Kakori area late on Tuesday night. The operation was taken up by UP anti-terrorist squad.
“After the incident, we have deployed our teams in the state and western UP as well. Since interception of such operatives is a specialised task, we are working in close coordination with other Central agencies as well,” an officer from UP-ATS said.