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Neighbours shocked, claim Avinash was a ‘helpful man’

This is the fifth arrest that Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) has made since it uncovered a plot of alleged Sanatan Sanstha sympathisers preparing to trigger blasts across the country.

mumbai Updated: Aug 26, 2018 03:19 IST
Manish K Pathak
Manish K Pathak
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Terror,Blast,ATS
This is the fifth arrest that Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) has made since it uncovered a plot of alleged Sanatan Sanstha sympathisers preparing to trigger blasts across the country. (PTI)

Thirty-year-old Avinash Anant Pawar, who was arrested on Friday in connection with a case against alleged Sanatan Sanstha sympathisers planning blasts across India, helped cancer patients, organised blood donation camps, and was almost like the helpful boy-next-door in Pawarwadi area, in Ghatkopar (West), where he lived with his mother.

One of Pawar’s neighbours said his mother Anita, a housewife, was at home when at 12.30pm, 10 to 12 police personnel, including two women officers in civil clothes, came with Avinash to their ground-plus-one house. “They searched the entire house and took him away saying they would release him after inquiry,” he said.

This is the fifth arrest that Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) has made since it uncovered a plot of alleged Sanatan Sanstha sympathisers preparing to trigger blasts across the country.

After passing out of a civic school in Ghatkopar, Pawar joined Gurukul College where he studied till Class 12. He then opted for a diploma course at M H Saboo Siddik College of Engineering. When there were vacancies at Mazgoan Dock where his father worked, he took the exam and joined the dock in 2009.

Neighbours and family members remember Pawar as a teenager who sold newspapers, candles, garlands and nimbu-mirchi — a totem popularly used in Maharashtrian households to ward off the evil eye — ever since his father died in 2003 because of diabetes.

After Pawar’s arrest on Friday night, neighbours in Pawarwadi chawl, which includes 26 houses, did not cook. Aparna Kupahatte, one of Pawar’s neighbour, said Avinash was a “helpful” person. “When there was a drought situation in Beed, he collected money for the affected villagers,” she said.

Another neighbour recalled Pawar organising several blood donation camps, collecting food to feed cancer patients as he had faced difficult times as a teenager ever since his father’s death. Pawar’s cousin who lives in the same chawl, said he always guided him with studies. “He taught me to be a good human being. It is not possible for him to be involved in such activities.”

First Published: Aug 26, 2018 03:19 IST