Nalasopara Arm Haul: Jalna MLA still under ATS radar

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) is trying to ascertain the links between arrested former Shiv Sena corporator Shrikant Pangarkar and a Nationalist Congress Party MLA whose farmhouse was allegedly used for arms training, in the Nalasopara explosives haul case. According to an ATS official, when raided the NCP MLA’s farmhouse in Jalna, police have found no incriminating evidence, but during interrogation Pangarkar insisted of MLA being an aide.  An ATS official, on condition of anonymity, said that the claims made by Pangarkar have been ruled out after nothing was found in the farmhouse, which he boasted of being loaded with arms training equipment.

Upon Pangarkar’s request, he was also taken to the farmhouse as a part of the raid conducted, which concluded with nothing being seized apart from a few literature material, related to how to make a low intensity bomb, added the official. A senior ATS official said no suspect has been ruled out until their slate is clean and shiny. “Despite no evidence found in NCP MLA’s farmhouse, he is not ruled out as literature related to making bombs was found.”

The ATS officials showed belief in Pangarkar’s claims as he had spilled the beans on another accused Avinash Pawar’s role in the planning and execution of Dr Narendra Dabholkar’s killing.  Pangarkar, who was arrested on August 20, for allegedly financing the Nalasopara explosive haul, mainly driven by Vaibhav Raut, the Hindu Govansh Samiti coordinator, along with Sudhanva Gondhalekar and Sharad Kalaskar. The ATS has arrested five persons till now in the case pertaining to seizure of explosives and arms from several parts of Maharashtra early last month. They have been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Indian Penal Code, Explosive Substances Act and Explosives Act.

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