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ATS frames charges against Vaibhav Raut, 11 others

Thursday, December 06, 2018
By Zuber Ansari

Nalasopara Arms Haul Case

Charge sheet filed against all accused under relevant Sections of UAPA, IPC and Maharashtra Police Act

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) yesterday filed a charge sheet against all the accused including Sanathan Sansta activist Vaibhav Raut in connection with Nalasopara arms haul case.

The ATS has framed charges against all the 12 arrested accused under relevant Sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the Indian Penal Code (IPC) Arms Act and the Maharashtra Police Act. Last month, the ATS had filed an application in the court seeking more time to file the charge sheet in the case.

In their charge sheet the ATS mentioned that in August they got information that some persons from Pune, Satara, Solapur, Nalasopara and Mumbai are likely to undertake terrorist activities in Mumbai and Pune and were provided with some cell phone numbers. The ATS swung into action and initially, Vaibhav Raut from Nalasopara and another person were arrested from Pune. Later, based on the information the duo provided, other people were arrested from different parts of the state.

During the course of investigations, a total of 23 live country made bombs, 15 pistols, one country-made weapon, one partially completed country-made weapon, three pistols without barrels, 10 pistol barrels, six pistol magazines, three partially made pistol magazines, seven pistol slides, 41 live rounds of ammunition of assorted bores, 26 electric/non electric detonators, tools and raw-materials to make country bombs and fire arms, several CD drives, pen drives, memory cards, hard disks, eight number plates of vehicles, motorcycles used for their activities, copies of Marathi book 'Kshatra Dharma Sadhna', several pocket diaries, a note book and other materials were seized from these arrested accused. These materials were seized from different parts of the state including Nalasopara, Thane, Satara, Beed, Pune, etc.

During investigation, the locations where the terrorist gang arranged for their training in firearms and explosive manufacturing were also revealed. The diaries which mentioned details of such training camps of the activist as well as the planning for terrorist activities to be undertaken and the connected conspiracy were also seized and the coded language therein was deciphered through the arrested accused. It was also found that the members of the terrorist gang are also members of organisations such as the 'Sanathan Sanstha', 'Hindu Janjagriti' and similar other smaller organisation.

After the four-month-long investigation in the case, the finally ATS has framed charges against all the arrested accused, identified as – Vaibhav Subhash Raut (44), Sharad Bhausaheb Kalsekar (25), Sudhanwa Sudhir Gondhlekar (39), Shikant Jagnath Pangarkar (40), Avinash Anant Pawar (30), Leeladhar Ukride (32), Vasudeo Bhagwan Suryawanshi (19), Suchit Kumar Rangswamy (37), Bharat Jayant Kurne (37), Amol Arvind Kale (34), Amil Ramchandra Baddi (27) and Ganesh Dashrath Miskin (28). They were booked under Sections 4 and 5 of the Explosive Substance Act; Sections 120B, 2012, 115, 468, 471, 379, 201 of the Indian Penal Code; Sections 16, 18, 18A, 18B, 19, 20 and 23 of the UAPA Act; Sections 3, 5, 7, 25 and 27 of the Arms Act; and Sections 37 (1) and 135 of the Maharashtra Police Act.

In August, the Maharashtra ATS had carried out raids in Nalasopara and Pune and arrested Vaibhav Raut, who ran a pro-cow protection outfit – the Hindu Govansh Raksha Samiti – along with his associates Sharad Kalaskar, Sudhanwa Gondhalekar, Avinash Pawar and Pangalkar for allegedly stockpiling arms and explosives.

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