Former Sena corporator trained terror suspect Avinash Pawar to use arms: ATS
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Former Sena corporator trained terror suspect Avinash Pawar to use arms: ATS

The ATS claimed that another suspect, Vaibhav Raut, gave Pawar a SIM card obtained using fake documents to stay in touch with other members of the group.

mumbai Updated: Sep 05, 2018 05:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
ATS,Terror attacks,Sunburn festival
ATS officials said former Shiv Sena corporator Shrikant Pangarkar may have played a part in the plot. (AFP File)

Former Shiv Sena corporator Shrikant Pangarkar trained Avinash Pawar to use arms and ammunition, the state anti-terrorism squad (ATS) told the special court for Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act on Tuesday.

Suspected to be right-wing sympathisers planning alleged terror attacks, Pangarkar, Pawar, Sudhanva Ghondhalekar, Vaibhav Raut, Sharad Kalaskar and Santosh Andhure were arrested recently in connection with last month’s arms seizure in Nalasopara.

Seeking Pawar’s custody on Tuesday, the ATS claimed Raut gave Pawar a SIM card, which was obtained using fake documents, to stay in touch with other members of the group. “The investigation showed the person in whose name the card is registered didn’t apply for it,” said an officer, adding, “The card was used by Raut and Gondalekar. Gondalekar later returned it to Raut, who then gave it to Pawar. This shows the connection between the members of the group.”

Chief public prosecutor Jaisingh Desai told the court that between December 2017 and January 2018, when an alleged attack at Sunburn festival venue in Pune was planned, the SIM card showed Pawar was present at two places – Ghatkopar and Belgaum – at the same time.

The agency said they have deciphered the codes written in the diary found with Pawar. “We have been looking at all aspects and need Pawar’s custody for four-five days,” Desai told the court.

Defence lawyer Sanjeev Punalekar claimed the investigation was going in the wrong direction. “The way it is being probed, this is an endless process,” Punalekar said.

The court extended Pawar’s ATS custody till Thursday.

First Published: Sep 05, 2018 05:39 IST