The Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad today launched an operation to flush out a suspected terrorist holed up in a house on the outskirts of Lucknow following inputs that he may be linked to Bhopal-Ujjain train blast this morning.
The suspect was hiding in a house in Kakori area. The densely populated neighbourhood was cordoned off and at least 20 commandos were involved in the operation, police said.
“The operation is the result of the UP police receiving specific inputs regarding possible terror suspects in the state,” Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Daljeet Chaudhary said, adding the terror suspect might be linked to train blast in Madhya Pradesh this morning.
At least eight persons were today injured, two of them seriously, in the blast in Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train near Jabdi station in Shajapur district.
The ATS operation came hours before the final phase of polling in Assembly election covering 40 seats in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
According to locals, at around 3.30 PM over 30 policemen started vacating the houses in the locality to corner the suspect.
“As the suspect got wind of their plans, he started firing at police party. Gunshots were fired from both the sides,” local residents said.
IG ATS Aseem Arun summoned elite commandos from Bijnaur police facility. The ATS team is trying to ensure that the suspect runs out of ammunition before barging inside.
IG Lucknow Zone A Satish Ganesh said, “The suspect was not surrendering. Instead he was resorting to firing. Chilli bombs were used to smoke him out.”
Arun, who was conducting the operation, said, “When the police knocked the door (of the house where the terror suspect is holed up), he closed the door, and then there was a sound of pistol fire, which proved that he has weapons.
“We are not in a hurry to finish the operation, but want to catch him alive. Hence, we are using chilly powder,” he said.
He said the suspect resorted to intermittent firing. “We have withheld firing from our side. It appears only one person is hiding inside the house,” he said
The UP Police was tipped off by central intelligence agencies, Chaudhary said, and added that one arrest was made in Kanpur and there could be more than one terror suspect in Lucknow.
He also mentioned that terror linkage, connection to Ujjain train blast and details of the module would be revealed only after interrogation of the suspects.
Police said that the area where the suspected terrorist is holed up is densely populated.
“We would be able to comment on the motive of the person once he is arrested. There is no point in sharing any input before the operation was over,” the ADG said.
He said it was a tactical operation, aimed at incurring minimum loss.
UP DGP Javeed Ahmed, when contacted, said the UP Police was trying to convince the person holed up in the house to surrender.
He also said, “We have detained someone from Kanpur. However, it is too early to link this suspected terrorist to the train blast.”
To a question on the incident taking place a day before the final phase of polling in UP tomorrow, the DGP said, “The conduct of polls in UP has been so far peaceful.”