The Bombay High Court on Monday ordered that three persons in jail in connection with the Gauri Lankesh murder case be moved from Bengaluru to Mumbai, where they are accused in an arms haul case, PTI reported.
The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad had sought the custody of Amol Kale, Amit Baddi and Ganesh Miskin in the Nalasopara arms haul case. It had got their custody for six days in October as well, but a court had refused to extend their police remand and sent them to judicial custody. They were then moved to a prison in Bengaluru.
Special public prosecutor Raja Thakar told the High Court that the six-day police remand in October was not sufficient for the investigation. Justice Mridula Bhatkar allowed them to be moved to Mumbai’s Arthur Road prison to enable them to file affidavits and defend against the petition filed by the Maharashtra ATS.
The judge asked the state government and additional director general of ATS to make necessary security arrangements for transferring the accused to Mumbai. The court will hear the petition next on January 28.
The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad had in December filed a chargesheet against 12 persons, including the three, in connection with the Nalasopara arms haul case. Some of the accused were also named in the murder cases of journalist Gauri Lankesh and rationalist Narendra Dabholkar.
Since August, the Anti-Terrorism Squad has made several arrests in an alleged conspiracy to conduct bomb blasts across the state, and has recovered crude bombs, detonators and firearms from several suspects. Many of those arrested are reported to be Hindutva activists.
The series of arrests had began in August 2018, when Vaibhav Raut, a co-founder of a cow protection group, was arrested after a raid at his home in Mumbai’s Nalasopara locality. After that, the Anti-Terrorism Squad made several arrests in an alleged conspiracy to conduct bomb blasts across the state, and recovered crude bombs, detonators and firearms from several suspects.