Mumbai terror net

A government employee and member of a Hindutva outfit has been arrested for allegedly planning terror strikes in Mumbai and elsewhere in Maharashtra.

By Our special correspondent in Mumbai
  • Published 26.08.18
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Mumbai: A government employee and member of a Hindutva outfit has been arrested for allegedly planning terror strikes in Mumbai and elsewhere in Maharashtra.

Avinash Pawar, 30, is the fifth person to be picked up in connection with the case. Pawar, who works in a state-run ship-building company and is involved with the Hindutva group Shivpratishthan Hindustan, was arrested from the Mumbai suburb of Ghatkopar on Friday night.

He was remanded in police custody till August 31 by a Mumbai court on Saturday.

ATS sources said Pawar, who works at Mazagaon dock, was involved in the conspiracy to carry out terror attacks across Maharashtra. Vaibhav Raut, a "daring cow protector" and member of several radical Hindu outfits, and his associates Sudhanva Gondhalekar and Sharad Kalaskar, were arrested on August 10 in connection with the case. The fourth accused, former Shiv Sena councillor Shirkant Pangarkar, was apprehended last Sunday.

"Pawar was arrested under Sections 4 and 5 of the Explosive Substances Act, Section 9(B) of the Explosives Act and Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code," an ATS officer said.

"He has also been booked under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act such as 16 (punishment for terrorist act), 18 (conspiracy for terrorist act) and 20 (being a member of a terrorist group)," the officer added.

The arrests in Maharashtra followed a similar crackdown by the special investigation team of Karnataka police probing the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh.

"His (Pawar's) name came up during the interrogation of the other accused. Pawar was involved with certain Hindutva groups for about two years. We have seized a CPU and several mobile phones from his place. They are being examined," an ATS source said.

Acting on a lead from the Maharashtra ATS, the CBI has arrested Sachin Andure, the suspected main shooter of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar in August 2013 in Pune. Kalaskar has confessed to his involvement in the murder of Dabholkar.