Widening Arc: Mukta Dabholkar, Awhad were on hit list

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad on Friday informed a special court that arrested right-wing activist Avinash Pawar had carried out a reconnaissance of many persons, including Mukta Dabholkar, daughter of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar. The anti-terrorism agency also informed the court that these persons whom Pawar had recced were on the hit list of a radical Hindu organisation for their unorthodox views. According to the ATS, Pawar had conducted reconnaissance on Mukta, activist Shyam Manav and NCP leader Jitendra Awhad. “All of them were on the hit list,” the agency submitted.

Having considered the submission, the court sought to know how these names cropped up in the ATS case diary. The agency was, however, not in a position to explain and this resulted in the court pulling up the officers. The court took on record the contention of ATS, but also pointed out some loopholes in the investigations as the ATS failed to mention this aspect in its application seeking remand of Pawar.

This came to light when ATS produced Pawar before the court seeking to extend his police custody by 14 days. The court however granted only four days extension i.e. till September 14. The court has granted extension of custody on the grounds that ATS has to decipher the ‘code language’ it has come across in one of the diaries it recovered from Pawar’s locker in Mazgaon dock. The agency also sought extension of the custody to find out the owner of a mobile phone that it has recovered from Pawar. The agency further contended that Pawar along with other accused had been to Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka for recovery of some weapons.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government has enhanced the protection of Mukta Dabholkar, Hamid Dabholkar (son of Narendra Dabholkar) and also of Megha Pansare (daughter-in-law of Comrade Govind Pansare). The ATS had arrested Pawar, a resident of Ghatkopar, last week for his alleged involvement in the Nalasopara explosives haul case.

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