Anti-national material seized from arrested 'Maoist': ATS

Pune ATS told the court that it has picked up 42 CDs from the hideout of the accused and his wife, which show a CISF jawan being murdered by a Maoist, along with articles written against the Indian government and country in ‘code language’

The district court has extended the police custody of alleged Maoist operative Arun Bhelke alias Rajan, and his wife Kanchan Ranavare, after the Pune unit of the Anti- Terrorism Squad (ATS) stated in court that they have picked up 42 CDs from one of their hideouts in Mumbai, which contains material intended to provoke people against the government. The duo, arrested in the beginning of the month, has now been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Arun Bhelke
Another seven days: The alleged Maoist operative, Arun Bhelke, was arrested by the Pune unit of ATS on September 1 and his wife, Kanchan Ranavare, was arrested the next day. File pic

During the hearing on Monday, the special public prosecutor, Vikas Shah, told the bench of district court, “After raiding one of their hideouts in Mumbai, the Pune ATS team has found 42 CDs that show how a CISF jawan was brutally murdered by a Maoist. They have also found articles, written in code language, that talks against the Indian government and country.”

‘Acts against nation’
“We have decoded the articles, which were intended to be given to peers to carry out activities against the nation. The team also seized four mobile phones with SIM cards purchased from 20 different locations,” added Shah. The prosecutor asked
for an extension of the duo’s police custody, and informed that the ATS team is now looking into whether Bhelke and Ranavare are married or not.

‘No evidence submitted’
Defence lawyers Wajed Khan and T C Shaikh opposed the extension of police custody, stating, “ATS has not provided any evidence to court yet, nor have they submitted the laptop seized by them. If the couple was using a fake UID and PAN card, then they should be booked under forgery and not UAPA. The ATS now wants to investigate whether the couple were married or not. However, the law does not refrain consenting adults from staying together.” After hearing the arguments, Additional Sessions Judge N P Dhote extended the police custody of Bhelke and Ranavare till September 22.

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