Vaibhav Raut, others sent to ATS custody till Sept. 3

We are with you: People taking out a march organised by Sanatan Sanstha and Hindu Janjagruti Samiti, to voice their support for the Sanstha, in Thane.  

Mumbai: The sessions court on Tuesday sent Vaibhav Raut, Sharad Kalaskar, and Sudhanwa Gondhalekar, who were arrested on August 9 for possessing a large cache of arms and explosives, to the custody of the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) till September 3.

The trio were picked up during ATS raids in Nallasopara and Pune, and charged under the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Advocate Sunil Gonsalves, appearing for ATS, said they have seized the computers of all three and a bike. “We raided the centres where the accused received training in bomb making, and made a list of people targeted by them. The group was conspiring to throw bombs at Bhanusagar talkies and Prakash talkies in Belgaum where Padmavat was released,” he said.

Sunburn a target

According to the agency, Mr. Kalaskar also conspired to hurl a bomb at a Western musical concert (Sunburn) in Pune and conducted a recce of the spot along with the other accused. He said Sunburn was targeted because it was against Hindu culture. Mr. Gonsalves also said Mr. Raut was supposed to shoot some people.

Former Shiv Sena corporator Shrikant Pangarkar, who was also arrested by ATS, also did a recce of places and did a research of people who were on the target list and checked their social media accounts. He was also trained in making bombs.

The ATS counsel said they have recovered data of 10 terabytes and that a report on the same will take some time. He said all the accused got training in weapons and ammunition in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka. In all, there were nine such training centres: two in the State and seven outside Maharashtra. He said, “We need to know the mastermind. We need to know who else was funding this apart from Mr. Pangarkar.”

The defence lawyer, Sanjeev Punalekar, said, “We should first see the remand copy. Or else, how will we know that the allegations made are actually mentioned in the remand copy? Otherwise, stuff related to Padmavat and Sunburn is nothing but hearsay.” Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation has sought permission from the Pune court to produce Mr. Raut in connection with the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar.

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Printable version | Sep 16, 2021 1:47:23 PM |

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