Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has recovered at least eight crude bombs from the house of Vaibhav Raut who is related to Sanatan Sanstha in Nala Sopara. Some incriminating literature and other suspicious materials were also seized from his residence. During the raid, the squad also recovered raw materials used to explosives from a nearby shop. The investigators are exploring different angles to spot the source of these explosives and Raut's intentions behind using them.
As per sources, the ATS team was keeping a vigil on Raut for the past few days and raided his house along with forensics team and dog squad on Thursday night. The search operation is still on.
Sanatan Sanstha has confirmed that Vaibhav Raut is a member of the organization. He has been associated with the Sanstha for the past six years. Furthermore, Sanatan Sanstha has also claimed that they will provide legal aid to Vaibhav Raut. A team of Nine lawyers is ready.
Here are the highlights of the Press statement of Hindu Janjagruti Samiti on Vaibhav Raut's arrest:
The Sanatan Sanstha is a right-wing Hindu group which was founded in 1999 by Jayant Balaji Athavale. The main of the group is to present spirituality in a scientific language for the curious and guiding seekers. The organization has a chain of centers in India as well as abroad.
In the year 2008, six people owing allegiance to Sanatan Sanstha were arrested for planting bombs in auditoriums at Thane and Vashi and in a movie theater at Panvel. Two of the accused that were found guilty and acquitted of the terror charges with sentenced to ten years incarceration. The Maharashtra Government sought to ban the organization, however, on 2 December 2015, the Minister of Home Affairs stated in Rajya Sabha that there was no proposal to ban Sanatan Sanstha.
The public image of the organization was tarnished by the allegations of unlawful activities, as a result, the Sanstha started a series of public meetings in different parts of Maharashtra to dispel the "misunderstandings".