Hundreds of supporters poured out on the streets of Nallasopara on Friday in support of Vaibhav Raut, who was arrested by the Maharashta Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) on August 10.
Mr. Raut, a real estate agent, was arrested along with Sharad Kalaskar and Sudhanwa Gondhalekar from Pune for allegedly planning disruptive activities in the State. The ATS had seized crude bombs, gelatin sticks, country made guns and ammunition, bomb making instruction manuals and electronic circuits from the accused.
The protesters marched from Mr. Raut’s house at Bhandar Aali in Nallasopara at 4 p.m., headed to Nallasopara station and returned to his house.
Friends, family members and members of the Gaurakshak Samiti and Sanatan Sanstha wore T-shirts with Mr. Raut’s image on it and shouted slogans like Vaibhav Raut Zindabad , Vande Mataram and Vaibhav Raut Amar Rahe.
Chetan Rajhans, Sanatan Sanstha’s national spokesperson, said, “We will continue this protest till we are satisfied with the government’s decision with regard to the false charges levelled against Mr. Raut. The people who gathered today have come out of their own choice to show support. The government has not been fair to Vaibhav ji .”
The protest caused traffic jams as it passed through the streets, and scores of people witnessed the protest from the windows of their houses and the pavements along the way. Superintendent of Police Gaurav Singh, Palghar police, said, “We deployed around 300 personnel as part of the bandobast to ensure security. The protest was regulated and there was only a corridor where the protesters could march. So traffic congestion was not too severe.”