Other States

Man shot dead in Lucknow after train blast in M.P.

Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad personnel take position during their operation against a suspected terrorist holed up inside a building in the Thakurganj area of Lucknow on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

A day before the last phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh, nine persons were injured in a blast in the general coach of the Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train near Jabdi in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday.

Hours after the incident, three terror suspects each were arrested in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh and Saifullah, a suspect holed up in a building in Lucknow, was killed after an encounter lasting several hours. Police were trying to secure two of his associates, Azhar Khan and Ghous Md. Khan.

A source told The Hindu  that the module was inspired by the Islamic State (IS) and the accused were getting directions from their handler who is not from India. The module was under watch for several months.

IM style attack

A senior Madhya Pradesh police official described the train blast as a terror attack. He said an improvised explosive device (IED) that was planted on the upper berth was a “pressure pipe bomb,” that was once used by the now defunct Indian Mujahideen (IM).

The official said the bomb was planted around 8 a.m. when the train started from Bhopal. The two people who planted it were arrested by the M.P. police following a tipoff from central intelligence agencies. “The bomb was prepared in Lucknow and it’s a mystery to us why the accused went all the way to Bhopal to plant it. It was a low intensity bomb and was made from gunpowder,” said a top intelligence official.

Those arrested are: Danish Akhtar, Syed Meer Hussain and Atish Muzaffar (all from Madhya Pradesh); Mohammed Faisal Khan, Mohammed Imran and Fakre Alam (all from Uttar Pradesh). They are in the age group of 25-35. Officials said most of them were well educated but unemployed.

“The explosion took place in the general coach around 9.45 a.m. when the train was running between Jabri and Kalapipal stations,” the Railway Ministry tweeted. At 11.33 a.m., the Ministry posted a video of a passenger narrating the events surrounding the blast.

People attend to an injured person after a blast in the Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train near the Jabdi station in Shajapur district óf Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday.

People attend to an injured person after a blast in the Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train near the Jabdi station in Shajapur district óf Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Police on terror trail

An unidentified person interviewed the passenger who: “There was a loud explosion and I could see people falling on each other. The impact of the blast was great as the train caught fire and the roof was badly damaged.”

Earlier, Uttar Pradesh DGP Javeed Ahmed told The Hindu, “We have cornered one extremist who is linked to the group involved in the blast. We are trying to arrest another suspect who is armed and holed up in a house in Thakurganj area of Lucknow. [He was later killed].”

However, he said, the blast was not linked to the Kanpur train accident that claimed over 140 lives. The Bihar police had then claimed that the train was derailed in Kanpur at the behest of Pakistan’s ISI.

The National Investigation Agency is investigating the claims and is yet to conclude the investigation.

The Union Home Ministry has sought a report from the Madhya Pradesh police.

Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi briefed Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who represents Lucknow in the Lok Sabha, on the explosion.

According to residents in Lucknow, over 30 policemen started vacating the houses in the locality at around 3.30 p.m. to corner the suspects.

(With inputs from PTI)

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 4:02:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/person-linked-to-mp-train-blast-cornered-encounter-under-way-up-dgp/article17422805.ece

Next Story