Mumbai: Three members of a right-wing group have been arrested by the Maharashtra
Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) after a huge quantity of explosives was seized from one of their homes in Nallasopara in Maharashtra. Vaibhav Raut, who was arrested on Thursday night, was conspiring to carry out bomb blasts, the ATS said.
He was stopped before he could carry out terror activities. According to the ATS, a
terror attack has been foiled with Raut’s arrest. The ongoing investigation could
lead to more arrests.
The other accused Sudhanwa Gondhalekar, 39, and Sharad Kasalkar, 25, are from
Nallasopara. Gondhalekar is suspected to be a member of the Shri Shivapratishthan
Hindustan, which is headed by Sambhaji Bhide. Bhide has been charged in two
criminal cases in connection with violence near Bhima Koregaon on January 1 by the
Pune Police. Kasalkar is believed to be a close aide of Raut and was arrested from
Raut’s Nallasopara home.
The ATS is also investigating if these three men have links to other crimes in which members of extreme right-wing groups were arrested and accused of carrying
out the crimes. These cases include the murders of three rationalists and
journalist Gauri Lankesh, but denied having found any evidence to link them to
these murders yet.
The ATS have questioned 16 people for links with the three arrested. Inquiries are
also happening in places like Pune, Satara, Nallasopara, Solapur, ATS sources said.