The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has arrested Avinash Pawar on Friday evening, a 30-year-old suspect who is believed to be a close aide of Vaibhav Raut and Sudhanva Gondhalekar, in connection with the terror plot that was unearthed after recovering an arms cache from Palghar. The Maharashtra team seized incriminating documents including pamphlets of Sanatan Santha from Avinash's home. The accused was arrested from Ghatkopar in north-east Mumbai and will be produced before a court later in the day.
Avinash Pawar has been working in dockyard as a pipe fitter and is believed to be a follower of Bhide Guruji. He is also an active member of Hindu Janjagruti Samiti. The 30-year-old accused is associated with the right-wing fringe group for more than 5 years.
This is the fifth major arrest after the recovery of bombs, explosives, arms and ammunition that were allegedly intended for terror strikes in the state.
Earlier, Former Shiv Sena corporator Shrikant Pangarkar was taken into custody by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad on Sunday in connection with the seizure of crude bombs and weapons from different parts of the state. The arrested accused was planning to carry out blasts in five cities.
"Shrikant Pangarkar was arrested under the Explosives Act, the Explosive Substances Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act", an ATS official informed.
Shrikant Pangarkar was produced in the Mumbai Session Court on Monday at 1 pm.
Earlier, three persons, including one affiliated to a right-wing outfit, were arrested on Friday, with the Maharashtra police saying that it had recovered a large quantity of explosives that were to be used for carrying out blasts at various places in the state.
Vaibhav Raut (40), Sharad Kalaskar (25) and Sudhanwa Gondhalekar (39) were arrested following raids that began last night in the Palghar district and spanned to Pune, the police said.
Along with 12 crude bombs, ATS has recovered materials used in making these bombs like gunpowder, two gelatin sticks, electronic detonator, batteries, relay switch, soldering machine and hand gloves. ATS is carrying out further investigation to recover more explosives.