MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) arrested a hardline Right-wing activist, Vaibhav Raut, from Nalasopara in the wee hours of Friday after eight crude bombs and explosives were seized from his residence. Later in the day, the ATS arrested two more persons from Vasai in connection with the case, saying that the trio was conspiring terrorist activities at several places, including Mumbai.
Raut and the other two accused, Sharad Kalaskar and Sudhnava Gondhalekar, were produced before the special court in the sessions court premises and police custody for 15 days was demanded for them. The court granted police their custody till August 18, ATS officials said in the evening.
The accused allegedly conspired to carry out terrorist activist in Pune, Satara, Solapur, Nalasopara and Mumbai, for which they had made the crude bombs, the officials said.
On August 7, the ATS had received information that suspected persons were conspiring to carry out terrorist activities in several parts of Maharashtra. The informant had also provided Vaibhav’s cellphone number to the ATS, after which they kept a watch on his activities for a day and raided his residence in the Bhandar Ali area of Nalasopara town near Vasai in Palghar district, some 80 km from Mumbai.
The ATS officials were shocked when they recovered the bombs from Raut’s residence, an ATS officer said.
After the residence was raided, a dog squad was brought in, and it detected a pile of explosives in a nearby shop owned by the Raut family.
Gunpowder and detonators were recovered from the shop.
The explosives were enough to make at least a couple of dozen crude bombs like the ones recovered from Vaibhav’s residence, said a senior ATS official.