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Maharashtra: ATS raids Gauri Lankesh suspect killer Sanatan Sanstha sympathiser's Palghar home; explosives recovered

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 10 August 2018, 10:36 IST

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATI) raids Journalist Gauri Lankesh suspected killer Sanatan Sanstha sympathiser's Palghar residence. The squad recovered at least eight country-made bombs along with other explosives and literature from his Palghar's Nalasopara house, near Mumbai. Vaibhav Raut has been arrested in the killing of Lankesh and other rationalist and also in the bombing

An ATS team raided Vaibhav Raut's residence under the supervision of a senior IPS-rank officer in the wee hours of Friday and searches continued till early morning. Raut has been taken into custody for questioning and is likely to be placed under arrest and produced before a local court, sources said.

Meanwhile, the explosives recovered from Raut's house has been handed over to the Mumbai Forensic Science Laboratory to ascertain its nature. “We want to know the source of these explosives and how Raut intended to use them and therefore his custodial interrogation is necessary,” said an official requesting anonymity.

However, the right-wing terror outfit has denied Raut being an active member, reported IndianExpress. Sanatan Sanstha advocate Sanjeev Punelikar told the press that Raut was acquainted with its member. “Raut had been extended 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.

Raut has been held in four bombings in Nabi Mumbai's Vashi, Thane, Panvel (all in 2007) and Goa (in 2009) and in the murders rationalists- Narendra Dabholkar (in 2013), Govind Pansare and MM Kalburgi (both in 2015) and senior journalist Gauri Lankesh.

Both the Maharashtra police and the Central Bureau of Investigation probing the cases have questioned the outfit’s founder Jayant Balaji Athavale in the past, reports.

 

Also read: Jammu and Kashmir: Shocking! AK 47, hand grenades and other explosive material recovered in Poonch just before Independence day

First published: 10 August 2018, 10:35 IST
 
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