Mumbai: The state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) - which arrested two more persons from Jalgaon in connection with the Palghar arms’ seizure case - have found three crude bombs from the residence of one of them. ATS officials told the court that they were also likely to be part of the conspiracy to kill rationalist Narendra Dabholkar. The duo was allegedly on the lookout for persons critical of the Hindu religion or culture.
The duo, identified as Liladhar Lodhi and Vasudev Suryavanshi, was apprehended from Jalgaon and is suspected to be involved in the Dabholkar murder. Both were produced before a court on Sunday, where officials informed the judiciary that they had also seized three crude bombs and explosives from Lodhi's residence. The investigators sought their custody to ascertain the larger plot. The duo have been remanded by the court to ATS custody till September 17. Two mobile phones, four pen drives, two vehicle number plates, one DVD, five pocket diaries with details on code language and SIM cards were also found from their residence.
An ATS officer told the court, “The two accused were also carrying out reconnaissance to identify persons who were supposedly anti-Hindu. There is a possibility that some such people might have been identified by them. The identities of potential victims need to be ascertained.”
Since the two arrested accused were based in Jalgaon, the investigators also suspect that they might have planned an attack there. The crude bombs and explosives were found from Jalgaon, which hints at the possibility of an attack.
The arms cache came to light after ATS raided the residence of Vaibhav Raut, a cow protector from Nalasopara, in the early hours of August 11. The ATS later arrested Sharad Kalaskar, Sudhanva Gondhalekar from Pune, and Shrikant Pangarkar (former Shiv Sena corporator from Jalna) in connection with the case. The officials seized a large cache of firearms and 20 crude bombs along with semi-complete firearms and material used to make bombs, from the Nalasopara residence of Raut and the Pune home of Gondhalekar.