Two days after the blast on board a Bhopal-Ujjain train and the anti-terror operations that followed in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, leading to the arrests of nine and the killing near Lucknow of a terrorist identified as Mohammad Saifullah, Home Minister Rajnath Singh told Lok Sabha that “a possible threat to national security” had been averted. Delivering a statement in the Lower House after question hour, the Home Minister also praised Saifullah’s father Mohammad Sartaj, who had refused to accept the body of his son, saying “we cannot have anything to do with one who could not be loyal to his country”.
Singh recalled the statement of Sartaj that “I don’t want to see or accept even the dead body of my son….One who could not be true to his nation, cannot be my son”.
“I am sure that the entire House will join me in sympathising with the father. We should all be proud of him,” he told the MPs.
In his statement, Singh detailed the entire sequence of events on March 7, starting with the blast in a general compartment of Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train at Shajapur. Stating that MP DGP and other senior police officials immediately rushed to the site of the blast. Sing said the initial inspection of the scene of the crime indicated that the accused had used an IED prepared by using locally available explosives for the blast.
Members cutting across party lines thumped the desk in appreciation. Singh said that eight pistols, 630 cartridges, Rs 1.5 lakh, three mobile phones, four sim cards, two wireless sets and foreign currency were recovered from the encounter place in Lucknow where Saifullah, suspected to be linked to the train blast in Madhya Pradesh, was shot dead by the security forces of Uttar Pradesh.
On Saifullah encounter, Singh told the MPs that UP police had made “vigorous attempts to arrest the suspect”. However, after 12 hours of efforts and giving him multiple opportunities to surrender, the ATS cops stormed his hideout and killed him in the encounter that ensued.
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