A suspect allegedly linked to an explosion on board the Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train Tuesday was shot dead in the early hours of Wednesday by Uttar Pradesh anti-terrorism squad personnel on the outskirts of Lucknow where he had holed up in a house for hours. The bomb squad had to be called after they noticed a wire wrapped around Saifullah, the suspect who hailed from Kanpur. Six others were arrested Tuesday — three in Pipariya in Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh and three in Kanpur — for their alleged involvement in the train explosion that left 10 persons injured.
Watch| 7th Arrest Made By Police In Bhopal-Ujjain Passenger Train Explosion
A seventh arrest was made in Auraiya on Wednesday. Police identified him as one Shailendra Yadav and claimed he was a weapon-supplier. Additional DGP (Law and Order) Daljit Singh Chaudhary said Saifullah and other members of the group were radicalised online by Islamic State propaganda and had formed a self-proclaimed IS outfit. He said they have found no evidence so far of members receiving funds from any source and they appeared to have arranged funds on their own.
Madhya Pradesh ATS SP Pranay Nagvanshi said the module was formed a year ago by Atif Muzaffar alias Al Kasim — one of the three arrested in Pipariya — and was named ISIS Khorasan. He said the group tested a timer-bomb in an open field in Kanpur in August-September last year.
UP DGP Javeed Ahmad too said Atif was the head of the group. The UP ATS, which shot dead Saifullah, said he had rented the house in Haji Colony and was staying there with Atif, Danish Akhtar alias Jaffar and Syed Mir Hussain alias Humza who were held in Pipariya. The house belongs to Badshah Khan of Malihabad who works in Dubai.
In Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said: “We have proof that the explosion was carried out by ISIS-inspired operatives.’’ He said the men shared a photograph of the bag, containing the pipe bomb and kept on the luggage rack of the train, with a handler in Syria. Chouhan said the three men reached Bhopal Tuesday morning from Lucknow by the Pushpak Express and boarded a Pipariya-bound bus after planting the IED in the Bhopal-Ujjain Express. From Pipariya, they had planned to head back to Lucknow via Jabalpur and Allahabad.
During a search of the house in Lucknow, police found eight country-made pistols, four knives, 632 live cartridges, 71 empty shells, 45 gm gold, three mobile phones, bank passbook, ATM card, PAN card in the name of Atif Muzaffar, four SIM cards, a motorcycle, two mini walkie-talkie sets, a bottle filled with iron balls, two bottles of gunpowder, passports belonging to Atif, Danish and Saifullah, hand-written literature, Rs 1.5 lakh cash, some Riyal and a black cloth banner similar to an ISIS flag.
Chaudhary said the ATS tried to capture Saifullah alive and made several attempts. They even made his brother Khalid speak to him on the phone by taking it close to the room where he was holed up. But he did not respond.
The ATS later drilled a hole in the roof and threw chilli bombs to force him out. Chaudhary said Saifullah opened fire. Around 3 am Wednesday, the ATS shot him dead.
PTI adds: SP (Kanpur City) Somen Verma said Saifullah’s family was contacted but they refused to take the body. He said a team of UP ATS left from Kanpur for Lucknow with two other suspects around 3 am for further questioning.
On Tuesday, police arrested Mohammed Faisal Khan from Jajmau and his brother Mohammed Imran from a leather factory in Unnao. Fakre Alam alias Rishu of Etawah was the third person arrested. Police had also apprehended one Shakeel alias Ajgar from the Rehmani market in Kanpur but he escaped after the shopkeepers there started protesting.