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  India   Crime  08 Mar 2017  Lucknow anti-terror operation on poll eve, two ‘holed up’

Lucknow anti-terror operation on poll eve, two ‘holed up’

Published : Mar 8, 2017, 12:47 am IST
Updated : Mar 8, 2017, 6:41 am IST

Nationwide alert sounded, vigil in poll areas.

Uttar Pradesh Anti Terror Squad personnel take positions during their operation against a suspected terrorist holed up inside a building in the Thakurganj area of Lucknow.  (Photo: PTI)
 Uttar Pradesh Anti Terror Squad personnel take positions during their operation against a suspected terrorist holed up inside a building in the Thakurganj area of Lucknow. (Photo: PTI)

Lucknow/Delhi: On the eve of the final phase of Assembly elections in the state, Uttar Pradesh’s anti-terrorist squad (ATS) launched an operation, which was on till late in the night, to flush out two suspected terrorists holed up in a house in a densely-populated locality in Lucknow on Tuesday.  

Believed to be influenced by terror group ISIS and having possible links to a train blast in Madhya Pradesh carried out earlier in the day, in which 12 people were injured, the two fired intermittently at the police, which used teargas shells and chilli bombs to smoke them out.

There was no official confirmation about their death even after firing had stopped from the rented house at Haji Colony Lucknow’s in Thakurgan area.

After sunset, the electricity in the area was snapped which also forced the media to retreat. Night vision cameras and gas cutters were brought in. Commandoes of paramilitary forces were being rushed to assist the ATS and the local police.

Union home minister Rajnath Singh spoke to UP DGP Javeed Ahmad, who briefed him about the incident and the action taken. Earlier, those living in the neighborhood were evacuated from their houses and the entire area was cordoned off.

Meanwhile, two suspects (brothers) from Kanpur, one from Etawah and three from Madhya Pradesh were arrested for their alleged links to the blast in a Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train near Jabdi station in Shajapur district of Madhya Pradesh. Police sources said that more modules could be hiding in other districts of the two states.

A nationwide alert has been sounded, and security beefed up in UP, particularly in 40 Assembly seats in eastern Uttar Pradesh going to the polls Wednesday.

“We are alert. We have sounded an alert all over the country,” Union minister of state for home, Hansraj Ahir said.

“The suspects holed up in Lucknow belong to a localised group, influenced by ISIS and its literature,” additional director general (law and order) Daljit Chaudhary said.

According to locals, at around 3.30 PM, over 30 policemen started vacating houses in the locality to corner the suspects. Local residents said as the suspects learnt about the plans, they started firing at the police party.

ATS IG Aseem Arun summoned elite commandos from a Bijnaur police facility.

The ATS team was trying to ensure that the suspects run out of ammunition.

Lucknow IG A. Satish Ganesh said, “The suspects were not surrendering. Instead they were resorting to firing. Chilli bombs were used to smoke them out.”

“When the police knocked the door (of the house where the suspects are holed up), they closed the door,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Railways beefed up security in the wake of the blast that took place at 9.50 am in a general-class compartment of the ill-fated train.

The Railways has viewed the incident seriously and beefed up security, according to a statement issued by the Railway Ministry.

Tags: ujjain train blast, thakurganj area, security forces, terrorist, shootout