Pune ATS gives proof of fund transfers done by 'Maoist operative' Arun Bhelke

To extend the police custody of Arun Bhelke and his wife Kanchan Nanaware, the Pune unit of the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) revealed that it has recovered a record of transfer of funds made from and to Nanaware’s bank account. The husband and wife, who are allegedly Maoist operatives, were arrested by the ATS last week.

Arun Bhelke
The Anti-Terrorism Squad claims Arun Bhelke has been in touch with 28 youths and was trying to brainwash them into joining his team. File pic

During the hearing at the court of judicial magistrate on Tuesday, the ATS team stated that they have proof that Nanaware’s bank account received huge sums of money from Gadchiroli and Chandrapur in the last three months, allegedly used to train people and make them active members of the banned Communist Party of India (CPI) Maoist group. In addition, a transfer of funds was also made from the same account to Kolhapur. Cops said they retrieved this information after scrutinising documents saved in the laptop which was seized during the arrest.

Sunil Tambe, the investigation officer of ATS, told the court, “The seized laptop has proof of transactions in lakhs of rupees to different places. We are still investigating the purpose of these funds. Another laptop and desktop that the duo was using in Mumbai will also be seized. We have also obtained information about the mobile phone they were using.

In the last 12 months, Bhelke has met close to 28 college-going boys.” Cops asked for an extension in police custody to continue their interrogation.

Opposing the extension, defence lawyers Wajed Khan and T C Shaikh, submitted, “The duo has been in custody for the last seven days. We request the court to send them to judicial custody. Kanchan underwent a cardiac surgery last year and is not in the position to handle stress.” However, the bench had extended the duo’s police custody till September 15.

Hunting for clues

The investigation officer also informed the court about the team’s visit to Mumbai, “We visited Kane Phata, Panvel, Navi Mumbai and Mumbai with the accused but they did not take us to the correct address. The ATS team will have to visit these places again to find out where they were residing.”

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