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More arms, bomb-making equipment seized by ATS in Pune a day after arrests

Sudhanva Ghondhalekar, who was arrested on Friday, told anti-terrorism officials about his stock of illegal weapons during questioning.

mumbai Updated: Aug 12, 2018 03:42 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Anti-Terrorism Squad,Maharashtra,Sanatan Sanstha
Maharashtra ATS officials raid the house of Sanatan Sanstha member Vaibhav Raut at Nalasopara in Palghar on Friday. (PTI Photo)

Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Saturday seized more arms, ammunition and equipment, after one of the three men arrested on Friday revealed information about a stock of weapons during questioning.

Sudhanva Ghondhalekar, 39, was arrested in Pune on Friday. According to an officer of ATS, Ghondhalekar revealed information about a stock of illegal weapons when he was being questioned. A team conducted a search in the Pune location that Ghondhalekar provided and seized 11 country-made pistols with magazines, one air gun, 10 pistol barrels, six pistol magazines, six partially-made pistol bodies, three partially-made magazines, seven partially-made pistol slides, 16 relay switches, six number plates for vehicles and an explosive-making handbook. The police also found one trigger mechanism, springs of different lengths, knives, six number plates of vehicles, relay switch circuit drawings, and several printouts about explosives and mobile switches.

“We are now inquiring the purpose behind assembling the bombs and storing such a big stock of arms. It clearly seems that they were coordinating with each other and planning some terror activity,” said an ATS official on condition of anonymity.

On Friday, the ATS arrested Nalasopara resident Vaibav Raut, 40, after receiving a tip-off that included the mobile numbers of three men who were allegedly planning terror plots in Mumbai, Pune, Satara, Solapur. Sharad Kasalkar, 25, was arrested with Raut and the police recovered a note on making bombs from him. The ATS believe Ghondhalekar was training Raut and Kasalkar to assemble the bombs. All three were tracked by their mobile phone numbers.

Twenty crude bombs, raw material to make more bombs and detonators were seized when the ATS raided Raut’s home and office on Friday. The authorities believe Raut is a member of a Hindu right wing group named Sanatan Sanstha. Raut, Kasalkar and Ghondhalekar have been charged with the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, regular provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act and the Explosives Act. The three have been remanded to police custody till August 18.

First Published: Aug 12, 2018 03:41 IST