In a major crackdown on the Hindu radical group Sanatan Sanstha, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) made the fifth arrest after a recent terror plot was unearthed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). According to The Indian Express, 30-year-old Avinash Pawar was held by the ATS on Saturday. Pawar is a resident of Mumbai suburb Ghatkopar and is alleged to be associated with the Shri Shivapratishthan Hindustan. Vaibhav Raut, Sudhanva Gondhalekar, Sharad Kalaskar and ex-Shiv Sena corporator Shrikant Pangarkar had been arrested earlier. Members of various fringe groups were believed to be planning to carry out attacks in Mumbai, Pune, Satara, Solapur and Sangli. The ATS has already sent a status report on the recent terror case.
Moreover, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has started preparing a fresh dossier on the organisation. An ATS officer was quoted as saying by Indian Express that the focus of the dossier would basically be to establish links between the accused and the Sanstha. The dossier will be a detailed one to fast-track the pending proposal of the state government to ban the outfit, he added.
On the arrest of fringe group member Avinash Pawar, the ATS said that his name cropped up during the interrogation of Sudhanva Gondhalekar. Both of them were associated with the same group. Pawar was arrested after he refused to cooperate in the probe. The ATS said that the arrests strengthen their case against Sanatan Sanstha. The anti-terrorism squad said the outfit is involved in terror activities and therefore needs to be banned under the UAPA.
The Maharashtra government had sent two proposals in 2011 and 2015 making out a case to ban Sanatan Sanstha. The Maharashtra government had sent two proposals in 2011 and 2015 making out a case to ban Sanatan Sanstha. In 2011, the state ATS had pointed out three cases registered against the Sanatan Sanstha in 2008 that included an IED attack on February 20, 2008 at Cineraj Cinema in Panvel, the hurling of a bomb at Vishnudas Bhave Auditorium on May 31, 2008 and a bomb blast on June 4, 2008, in the parking lot of Ram Ganesh Gadkari Auditorium.