ATS and police sources revealed that over two dozen bombs or nearly 35 to 40 small explosive devices – enough to create a small blast and widespread terror – could be manufactured from the total quantity of gun powder, other explosives and detonators seized by the Maharashtra ATS from Sanatan Sanstha member Vaibhav Raut’s house and office at Palghar on Friday morning.
According to media reports, the Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has recovered at least eight country-made bombs from the house of a man related to Sanatan Sansthan in Nala Sopara.
The squad also recovered raw material to make explosives, gun powder and detonators and timers from a nearby shop, which served as the office of the arrested accused Vaibhav Raut.
According to sources, the raw material found at the shop includes large quantity of gun powder and detonators, enough to make over two dozen bombs, reports India TV.
The Hindustan Times reports that the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra police arrested a suspected member of a right-wing Hindu organisation at Nallasopara in Palghar district near Mumbai and seized eight crude bombs and explosives from his house late Thursday.
The activity at the Palghar office was going on for the last six months or so.
Raut was under surveillance by the Maha ATS after receiving intelligence from the Kerala SIT investigating the murder of writer and journalist Gauri Lankesh. Amol Kale, another Sanatan Sanstha member arrested for the murder of Gauri Lankesh had revealed the name of Vaibhav Raut and told investigators that Raut was a member of a right-wing extremist group, involved in murder and killing of anti-Hindu voices. A diary with about 36 names was recovered by the SIT.
Vaibhav Raut (40) allegedly belongs to Sanatan Sanstha and has been a member of the group since 2012. He will be produced before the Bhoiwada court on Friday afternoon, reports HT.
An ATS team with a dog squad searched Raut’s ground floor house at Bandarali village in Sopara, Nalasopara (west). The search operations continued till early Friday, said ATS sources.
“Raut used his estate agency office to store and make the bombs and we have seized materials like gun powder, detonators and other articles which could make a dozen more crude bombs. We believe Raut used his office as a front to make the bombs,” an ATS officer was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying.
Suvez Haque, deputy inspector general of the ATS refused to comment on the incident and said all queries will be answered from HQ ATS as per protocol.
In April 2017, the Maharashtra government sent a proposal to the Centre seeking a ban on Sanatan Sanstha.
The Goa-headquartered outfit was linked to two high profile murder cases, including that of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, and also terror activities in Goa and Maharashtra.