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Lucknow Encounter update – Saifullah’s father Sartaj praised by Rajnath, brother wants inquiry

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Lucknow, UP: Lucknow encounter involving an alleged Islamic State operative has ended, the lone gunman is dead and the security agencies are getting all the praise. In the meantime, Sartaj Mohammed, the father of the alleged IS terrorist, Saifullah, has refused to accept the dead body of his son, saying he doesn’t want to bury an anti-national.

While, things are not yet clear, and many of the people involved in similarly high profile cases in the past have been proved ‘innocent’ in different courts of law, Sartaj Mohammad is being praised by many. Home Minister, Rajnath Singh was one to praise the father, who just lost a son and not ready to accept the body.

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Rajnath Singh while praising the father of the alleged terrorist said “I express sympathy for the father and I am sure the House joins me…the government is proud of Mohammed Sartaj and I am sure you are too”. The Home Minister made the statement while speaking in the Parliament.

The Home Minister’s praise, got a favorable response from the father who said that the praise for all the fathers who loved their nation. “This message should be for the whole country. Ordinary people like us are being given respect by ministers”, said Sartaj, who is in his sixties.

The alleged Islamic State operative of the so-called Khurasan module, Saifullah, was killed in the state capital after a 12-hour operation. Though commandos tried to capture him alive, he refused to surrender. After he was shot, an ISIS flag and a train timetable were discovered near him; investigators say he and other members of his group – “self-radicalised” and “self-proclaimed as an ISIS cell” according to the Uttar Pradesh police – carried out a bombing this week on a train in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh in which nine people were injured.

State police officials have said that the boy acted independently without any external support. However, it is said that National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is handling the case, say there are signs of a handler that guided them, most likely from outside India, through chat rooms and phone calls.

Saifullah was the youngest of three sons of Sartaj. While his father said he was not ready to accept his son’s body, Khalid Mohammed, Saifullah’s older brother said that an inquiry must look at the charges against his brother. “My house is open, you can come inside and check. What if tomorrow they raid our house and say we have ammunition?” he asked.

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