Explosives seizure case: Pawar's police custody extended

A court here Tuesday extended the custody of suspected right-wing activist Avinash Pawar in an explosives seizure case till September 6.

Pawar was arrested by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra Police on August 24.

He was produced before Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Padalkar Tuesday after his remand ended.

Seeking an extension of his custody, the ATS said it has obtained "mirror image" of the data in his mobile phones and his home computer, and it needed to question him in this regard.

So far, Pawar has not given any information about the SIM cards of three mobile phones seized from his house, said chief public prosecutor J B Desai.

One of the phones the activist used had been given to him by co-accused Vaihbhav Raut, the prosecutor said.

The possibility of Pawar having received training in use of firearms and bomb-making cannot be ruled out, he said.

Observing that the grounds put forward by the ATS were legal and justifiable, the judge extended Pawar's custody.

The ATS had claimed earlier that the right-wing activist had carried out reconnaissance of the houses of certain persons, including Mukta Dabholkar, daughter of slain rationalist Narendra Dabholkar; activist Shyam Manav and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Jitendra Awhad.

These persons were on the accused persons' target list because they "spoke against the Hindu religion", the investigation agency had told the court.

The ATS arrested Vaibhav Raut, Sudhanwa Gondhalekar, Sharad Kalaskar and Shrikant Pangarkar last month and seized explosives and arms and ammunition from various places.

It claimed that these persons were right-wing activists who planned to carry out blasts at a western music concert in Pune last year.

Pawar is the fifth person to be arrested in the case.


(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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