Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has found that the five arrested in the explosives seizure case had links with Sanatan Sanstha sympathizers and would send details to the Centre to ban the radical Hindutva outfit, a police official said on Wednesday. The state government had sent a proposal to ban the Sanatan Sanstha to the Centre in 2015. It decided to send the details so that it can be added to the proposal, the official said. The Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) probing the recent seizure of explosives, has so far arrested five persons — Vaibhav Raut, Sharad Kalaskar, Sudhanva Gondhalekar, Shrikant Pangarkar and Avinash Pawar.
“During the investigation, it was found that all the arrested persons had links with right wing Hindutva organisations and also with the sympathisers of the Sanatan Sanstha and the Hindu Janjagruti Samiti (HJS),” he said. The social media accounts and online activities of the arrested also suggest these links, he added.
“The proposal to ban Sanatan Sanstha was sent to the Union government by the state in 2015. We will now send the details of the current (explosives seizure) case to be added in the proposal, after which the criminal record of the group will be updated,” a police official said.
The investigating agency is focusing on establishing the links of the arrested accused with the Sanatan Sanstha and “we are gathering evidence in this regard”, he said. The ATS has booked the five persons under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), beides other terror charges. “It is mandatory to inform the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) about any case of UAPA within 24 hours of the action. “The ATS, accordingly, has sent a status report on the recent terror case made out by it under the UAPA against the arrested,” the official said.