Lucknow: Saifullah, the man who was shot dead on the outskirts of Lucknow in a 12-hour operation by commandos yesterday, was a “self-radicalised terrorist and there was no proof he was an ISIS operative,” the Uttar Pradesh police said today. Admitting intel failure, the ADG Daljit Chaudhary said Saifullah died in exchange of fire. He said there was no proof about Saifullah’s connection with any terrorist group and had been radicalised on social media. He had learnt to make bombs online.
Bomb-making equipment, gold, cash, weapons like knives, eight pistols and three passports were found in the home where Saifullah was cornered yesterday by the Anti-Terror Squad. For 12 hours, he refused to surrender. Finally, commandos forced their way into the area and killed him.
His father, Sartaj, who lives in Kanpur, has refused to accept his body today, saying he “cannot make his peace with a traitor.”
Saifullah and eight other men were all members of a group that was radicalized online by ISIS propaganda and then decided to plot terror attacks, said Daljit Choudhary, a senior police officer in Uttar Pradesh. He said manuals on how to assemble bombs were recovered from the Lucknow safe house, which had been rented a few months ago. “They did not receive funding or aid from any external source, this was all self-generated and financed,” he said, describing the gang as “self-proclaimed ISIS cell.”