Mumbai: The Maharashtra ATS has arrested two more people in connection with the Nalasopara explosives case, taking the number of those arrested to seven.
Vasudev Suryavanshi, an automobile mechanic, and Liladhar alias Vijay Lodhi, who works as an agent in a grocery market, were arrested on Saturday night from Jalna district.
The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) also seized explosives in the form of three balls from the accused along with two number plates. Other articles recovered from their possession include four mobile handsets with SIM cards, four pen drives, one DVD and five pocket diaries.
Speaking about the haul, an ATS officer said, “The explosives were seized with the help of a sniffer dog. The initial investigation report of the explosives by the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad is positive. We have sent the substance to the Forensic Science Laboratory for a detailed report.”
The ATS suspects that the accused were involved in identifying and keeping an eye on those who spoke against Hindu religion and made films against Hinduism.
Both the accused were produced before the court on Sunday. They have been remanded to police custody till September 17.
The ATS told the court that it needed to find the number of people and the names who were on the target list of the accused. The remand application also stated that investigation had to be carried out in order to find the source from where the explosives were obtained and if the accused were in touch with those previously arrested in the case.
The squad said it suspected that the accused were conspirators in the terror plot and had to investigate if they had planned any terror activity in Jalna and Nashik.
Defence lawyer and secretary of Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad Sanjiv Punalekar said the accused were taken into custody on September 6, three days before their legal arrest. He added that the men did not have any connection with any organisation. “As per my knowledge, both of them do not belong to any organisation. I have visited Jalna for several Hindu gatherings, I never came across these two men,” he said.
Till date, the Maharashtra ATS has arrested seven people in connection with the case. Some of the accused were allegedly linked to radical Hindu groups, the squad had said, adding that among other things, they were planning to target a western music festival in Pune.
Sharad Kalaskar, arrested from Nalasopara, is accused of shooting rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and is presently in CBI custody.