Mumbai: Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has questioned over 20 people in the course of weekend across the state who were directly or indirectly linked to Vaibhav Raut, Sharad Kalaskar and Sudanva Gondhalekar in relation to the possession of crude bombs and other explosive materials, widening the range of possible involvement of a bigger ring of people involved in making or procuring explosives. ATS officials said they are likely to make more arrests in the case after the people associated with the three main accused are questioned, and origin of the explosive materials is identified.
The interrogation of the three accused have put the ATS in a fix, Raut, Kalaskar and Gondhalekar are questioned, each has blamed the other, not wanting to be associated with the other two. An official said on the condition of anonymity, “All three accused are playing the blame game, refuting allegations of possessing bombs and explosive materials. While Raut claims he was only ‘safeguarding’ the consignment, Kalaskar and Godhalekar claim they had no clue of existence of bombs in the warehouse and at Raut’s residence.” After the arrest of all three accused, the police have continued with their raids.
In one such raid on Sunday night, the police further found, five complete country-made pistols and three partially complete country-made pistols were recovered. Along with it, cartridges of 9mm and 7.65mm pistols and scores of loose parts of firearms like springs and triggers were confiscated from Raut’s residence at Bhandar Aali, Nalasopara. The officials have sent the seized materials to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) at Kalina to identify the make, model and ascertain the place of production of these pistols and bullet cartridges.
ATS had also raided Godhalekar’s Pune residence on the weekend, where they found a lap-top, an external hard disk, SIM cards, a car and motorcycle and the officials found scores of documents showing the association of Gondhalekar with the other two. Police said, they confiscated Wifi dongle for evidence of availability of internet service it also helps deciphering the history of the devices attached and sites visited.