Nalasopara explosive haul: ATS chargesheet against 12 persons

Mumbai: Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad has submitted a 6000-page chargesheet against 12 accused persons in the Nalasopara explosives haul case before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) special court on Wednesday. The chargesheet was submitted exactly a month after the Maharashtra ATS was granted a 30-day extension for filing of the chargesheet against all accused in the case. Since many accused have been sent to custody of other agencies for the probe of activist killings, they were not present at the time of submitting the chargesheet.

Twelve persons named in the chargesheet have been identified as Sharad Kalaskar (25), Vaibhav Raut (44), Sudhanwa Gondhlekar (39), Shrikant Pangarkar (40), Avinash Pawar (30), Leeladhar Ukhirde (32), Vasudeo Suryawanshi (19), Suchit Rangswamy (37), Bharat Kurne (37), Amol Kale (34), Amit Baddi (27) and Ganesh Miskin (28). The accused persons have been booked under relevant sections of the Explosive Substances Act 1908, Indian Penal Code, Explosives Act 1884, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967, Arms Act 1959 and the Maharashtra Police Act.

On August 7, the ATS had received a tip-off that some people from Pune, Satara, Solapur, Nalasopara and Mumbai were planning a terror attack in Mumbai and Pune and had provided few cell numbers. The ATS swung into action and using this input they zeroed down on two youth from Nalasopara and one from Pune. Based on these investigations, searches in their residential premises were carried out and at those places the three used to frequent.

Further searches led to the discovery of 23 live country made bombs, 15 pistols, one country made weapon, one partially completed country made weapon, three pistols without barrels, 10 pistol barrels, six pistol magazines, three partially made pistol magazines, seven pistol slides and 41 live rounds of ammunition of assorted bores. Other explosive material like, 26 electric / non-electric detonators, tools and raw-material to make country bombs and fire arms were seized from the accused persons at different places

During the investigations, it was revealed, few members of an extreme right-wing Hindu organisations like Sanathan Sanstha, Hindu Janjagruti and similar other smaller organisations. The accused revealed that they had drawn their motivation of establishing ‘Hindu Rashtra’ as explained in the book called “Kshatra Dharma Sadhana”, published by Sanathan Sanstha, which was seized during the search, along with a few diaries. The diaries have entries which describe in detail the various training camps to be held and the plan for terrorist activities. The chargesheet mentioned these confiscated diaries were filled with coded language, which was later deciphered by the arrested accused.

Further investigations revealed the extreme right-wing Hindu organisation had targeted a Western Musical programme called “Sunburn” which was to be held in Pune in December 2017. The attack was to be executed to send a strong message to the followers of western music and culture and terrorise the minds of people attending the festival, read the chargesheet. The chargesheet ended on the note stating a total of 12 accused have been arrested, while search for the three wanted accused is underway.

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