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25 May 2020, 05:29 HRS IST
  • PTI
  • 3 arrested by Maha ATS remanded in agency's custody till Aug 18

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0:38 HRS IST

(Eds: Adding details)

Mumbai, Aug 10 (PTI)
A sessions court here today remanded three persons, arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) for allegedly possessing crude bombs and weapons, in the agency's custody till August 18.

Additional sessions Judge Sameer Adkar remanded the three accused - Vaibhav Raut, Sharad Kalaskar and Sudhanwa Gondhalekar - in ATS custody till August 18.

The accused were reportedly arrested late yesterday night in an ATS operation conducted in Bhandar Aali area of Nallasopara West in neighbouring Palghar district.

While remanding them in ATS custody, Judge Adkar observed that prima facie, the arrested persons did appear to be involved in some conspiracy.

"The allegations made against the accused are of very serious nature. Several incriminating articles have been recovered from their possession and prima facie, the accused appear to be part of a conspiracy," judge Adkar said.

The accused have been booked under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Indian Penal Code.

The ATS had sought their custody for 15 days on the ground that it needed to ascertain why the bombs were made, where the accused persons got training to assemble the bombs, if they were associated with any terrorist group and from where they procured the material to assemble the bombs.

The ATS in its remand application said it had received secret information on August 7 that some persons were conspiring to carry out terrorist activities in Pune and Mumbai.

"Based on this information, searches were carried out at the shops and residences of the accused persons. From the searches, 22 crude bombs were seized along with a chit on how to assemble the bombs," Additional Public Prosecutor Sunil Gonsalves told the court.

"We received some secret information that some persons were part of a secret conspiracy in Pune, Satara and Nallasopara. We got some mobile numbers from which we were able to ascertain the identities of the accused persons," Gonsalves told court.

"We then conducted raids at their homes and shops and recovered 22 crude bombs, weapons and ammunitions, letters, batteries, a chit with detailed steps describing how to make a bomb, and several other incriminating material. Their phone records also showed that all three persons were in constant touch with one another," he said.

He also told the court that the ATS raids were conducted last night and early this morning, following which an FIR was registered against the accused at 2 pm today and they were arrested around 3:30 pm.

Sanjeev Punalekar, the lawyer of the accused persons, told the court that the case was "bogus" and claimed that the three had been framed.

"They should be remanded to judicial custody," Punalekar said.

He urged the court to send the accused to judicial custody since he anticipated that they would be "tortured" by the ATS officers while the accused were in the agency's custody.

In court, Sharad Kalaskar and Sudhanwa Gondhalekar alleged that they had been assaulted by ATS officers.

However, on being asked by the court if they could identify the officers who had assaulted them, the two said that they didn't know the names of the officers.

The court, however, noted that the medical certificates of all the accused persons did not show any external injuries.

Judge Adkar then directed the ATS to take the accused persons for another medical examination and submit its report on August 13.

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