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
Mumbai: Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) conducted a raid at the residence of a person named Vaibhav Raut in Nala Sopara area yesterday and recovered some suspicious material from the house and a nearby shop. Vaibhav Raut detained. More details awaited. #Maharashtra pic.twitter.com/UwaI8WOTgb— ANI (@ANI) August 9, 2018
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.