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‘Vishnu and Vaman’: Arrested right-wing activists used code words, says Maharashtra ATS

One of the accused has reportedly told Maharashtra ATS that he was directly involved in the shooting of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar on August 20, 2013.

india Updated: Aug 24, 2018 07:43 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Maharashtra ATS,Right wing activists,Palghar
Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) raids the house of a right-wing activist at Nalasopara, in Palghar.(PTI File Photo)

The Maharashtra ATS has found that persons arrested in connection with the seizure of explosives in Nallasopara in neighbouring Palghar district used code names like “Vishnu” and “Vaman” to communicate with each other, an official said on Thursday.

One of the arrested accused has also told ATS that he was directly involved in the shooting of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar on August 20, 2013.

On August 10, three persons -- Vaibhav Raut, Sharad Kalaskar and Sudhanwa Gondhalekar -- were arrested by the ATS from Palghar and Pune districts in connection with the seizure of a large number of bombs and weapons.

While Kalaskar was codenamed “Vishnu”, Vaibhav Raut used the moniker “Vaman” and Gondhalekar was addressed as “Pandeyji”, the official informed.

The crude bombs that the three persons were accused of assembling was called “ladoo”, he said.

The official said that these and several other code words were found in hard disks, mobile phones and social media accounts used by the arrested accused and efforts were on to decode them.

Kalaskar, during his interrogation, had told ATS that he, along with Aurangabad-resident Sachin Andure, shot dead Dabholkar.

Andure was subsequently arrested in Pune on August 19 by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The CBI, which is investigating the Dabholkar killing, has claimed that Sanatan Sanstha member Virendra Tawde hatched the conspiracy and ordered Kalaskar and Andure to shoot the rationalist.

Earlier, CBI claimed that a hard disk recovered during a raid on June 1, 2016 at a Sanatan Sanstha ashram in Panvel in neighbouring Raigad district had a folder captioned “dharmadrohi”.

The folder had pictures of Dabholkar, two police officers and some members of the minority community who had been felicitated by the police.

First Published: Aug 24, 2018 07:34 IST