In multiple raids across Maharashtra, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) Friday arrested two more people after at least eight country-made bombs along with a huge quantity of gun powder and other explosives, including detonators and timers and literature were seized from the residence of Vaibhav Raut, a Sanatan Sanstha member on Friday morning.
While Raut has been arrested and is being questioned by police, two others were arrested from Pune and Palghar. Raids are currently underway in Pune and Aurangabad.
Under the supervision of a senior IPS-rank officer, an ATS team raided the home of Vaibhav Raut in the wee hours of Friday and searches continued till early morning.
Raut is likely to be placed under arrest and produced before a local court, sources told The Indian Express.
The explosives have been handed over to the Mumbai Forensic Science Laboratory to ascertain its nature.
“We want to know source of these explosives and how Raut intended to use them and therefore his custodial interrogation is necessary,” said an official requesting anonymity.
While the right-wing terror outfit denied Raut being an active member, Sanatan Sanstha advocate Sanjeev Punelikar told the press that Raut was acquainted to its member.
The Sanatan Sanstha issued a press note claiming that Vaibhav Raut was a part of the Hindu Janjagruti Samiti (HJS). However, he has not been active for the past couple of months.
HJS Maharashtra organiser Sunil Ghanvat said Raut is a fearless cow protector (gau rakshak). But he denied Raut was actively involved with his organisation.
Both the Sanatan Sanstha and the HJS got into a war of words, each trying to deny Raut’s assocation with their organisation, claiming that he was just a sympathizer.
“Raut had been externed by the Palghar police in connection with a beef ban case. While he is a hindutva worker, he isn’t our member. However I doubt the ATS claim of he hoarding explosives,” he said. Punelikar added that the outfit will provide Raut legal aid.