The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad on Saturday produced in court a 30-year-old man they had arrested the previous night from Mumbai’s Ghatkopar suburb in connection with the seizure of explosives across the state earlier this month, PTI reported.
The court sent Avinash Pawar to judicial custody till Friday, ANI reported.
An unidentified police official said Pawar was allegedly involved in the conspiracy to carry out blasts in the state along with Hindutva activist Vaibhav Raut, Sharad Kalaskar, Sudhanwa Gondhalekar and Shrikant Pangarkar, who have all been arrested. Pangarkar is a former Shiv Sena corporator.
The official said the accused revealed Pawar’s name during interrogation. He was booked under sections of the Explosive Substances Act, sections of the Indian Penal Code – including criminal conspiracy, punishment for terrorist act and conspiring to carry out a terrorist act – and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for being a member of a terrorist gang.
Raut was arrested on August 9 after a raid at his home in Mumbai’s Nalasopara locality. He is a member of the Bhandari community of Nallasopara and a co-founder of a cow protection group called the Hindu Govansh Raksha Samiti. This group is said to be affiliated to the right-wing Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, an offshoot of the Sanatan Sanstha.
Earlier in August, the police claimed they had recovered 11 country-made pistols, air guns, pistol barrels and pistol magazines from Gondhalekar’s home in Pune as well as 20 crude bombs, detonators and material to make more bombs from Raut’s home and office.