Home Minister Rajnath Singh on March 9 briefed the Parliament about the Lucknow encounter which took place on March 7,  a day ahead of the last phase of assembly elections in the Uttar Pradesh. The encounter took place in the Thakurganj area of Lucknow. The gunbattle between the ATS personnel and terrorist Saifullah lasted about 12 hours.

While addressing the lower house on day 1 of the second leg of the Budget session, Home Minister lauded terrorist Saifullah’s father for disowning his son and taking a stand and said: “Parliament is sympathetic towards Saifulla’s father and so am I.”

On March 8, Saifulla’s father refused to claim his son’s body and called him anti-national. “A few months back he left home after I beat him up for not working. While on last Monday (February 26) he gave me a call and said that he is leaving India and moving to Saudi Arabia,” Saifulla’s father said after the encounter, adding “This was not in country’s interest. We will not accept the body of an anti-national.”

Meanwhile, congratulating the security forces for averting major terror strike, Rajnath Singh further informed the Parliament that six terrorists have been arrested in the state so far.

“Six terrorists have been arrested from various parts of the state following the encounter. NIA is probing the matter,” Rajnath Singh added.

On Saifulla’s ISIS link’s, Rajnath said: ” It’s still not confirmed but probe has been ordered to dig out the truth.”

On March 7, The UP’s ATS team on ‘concrete’ information reached Thakurganj to apprehend Saifullah, suspected to involved in Ujjain-Bhopal train blast. But, ignoring security forces appeal to surrender he started firing at security personnel. Saifullah then neutralised by the ATS men in retaliatory firing.

After the shootout, ATS recovered huge cache of arms and ammunition from him. “650 rounds of ammunition, 50 fired rounds, explosives materials, gold, some cash, passports and SIM cards recovered from the terrorist,” officer involved in the operation told media.

The operation that began around 3.30 pm on March 7 was closely monitored by the Union Home Ministry.