Commandos battle terrorists holed up outside Lucknow
The Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad on Tuesday launched an operation to flush out suspected terrorists holed up in a house on the outskirts of Lucknow following inputs that they may be linked to the Bhopal-Ujjain train blast on Tuesday morning.
The suspects were 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 suspects might be linked to the train blast in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday morning.
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 suspects.
"As the suspects got wind of their plans, they 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 suspects run out of ammunition before barging inside.
IG Lucknow Zone A Satish Ganesh said, "The suspects were not surrendering. Instead, they were resorting to firing. Chilli bombs were used to smoke them out."
"We are not in a hurry to finish the operation, but want to catch them alive. Hence, we are using chilly powder," he said.
He said the suspects resorted to intermittent firing. "We have withheld firing from our side," 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 terrorists were holed up is densely populated.
"We would be able to comment on their motive once they are 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 a minimum loss.
UP DGP Javeed Ahmed, when contacted, said the UP Police was trying to convince the people holed up in the house to surrender.
He also said, "We have detained someone from Kanpur.
However, it is too early to link these suspected terrorists to the train blast."