Gunfight between suspected IS operative, ATS on in Lucknow

Lucknow, March 7 (IANS) The gunfight between a suspected IS operative and commandos of the Uttar Pradesh Police’s Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) was on late Tuesday night with the man holed up inside a house refusing to surrender.

While there was initial exchange of fire, the gunfire stopped briefly after which the ATS commandoes lobbed chilly bombs inside the house in Haji colony of Thakurganj area here to incapacitate the suspect but to no avail.

Senior police officials are camping at the site to oversee the operation, which is also being monitored by the Union Home Ministry.

Police has since cordoned off the area in the colony and have asked people to stay indoors. Some adjacent houses have been got vacated as well. With the operation continuing into the night, night vision glasses, ambulances, fire brigades and additional security reinforcements have been summoned.

The ATS, based on “concrete” information from intelligence, had gone to apprehend Saiful, suspected of involvement in the blast in a train in Madhya Pradesh, when he suddenly opened fire on the team from the house.

Following this, ATS commandos returned fire at Saiful, who was on the first floor. An official at the site had said that they were trying to ensure that he is arrested alive and there is no collateral damage as this is a residential area.

“We got a lead on these operatives from outside the state and we are on the trail,” said Additional Director General (Law and Order) Daljeet Chowdhary.

At least eight persons were injured in an explosion in a passenger train, going to Ujjain from Bhopal, in Madhya Pradesh’s Shajapur district on Tuesday, authorities said.

Sources said the house belonged to Badshah Khan, resident of Malihabad and the accused was living there with two others for the past two months.

In a related development, another suspect of a sleeping module has been held from Kanpur by the ATS.

Following the Lucknow gunfight, an alert has been sounded at the Lucknow international airport and at prominent railway stations across the state. Police and intelligence officials have been directed to step up vigil and keep a close watch on busy thoroughfares, malls and markets.

–IANS

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