Avinash Pawar was scout, bomb-maker for right-wing terror plots
ATS told court that right-wing terror suspect Avinash Pawar had done recce at target spots; asked for extension of his custody to question him
The Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) have found that arrested right-wing terror suspect Avinash Pawar had conducted recce at a few targets. He was also present in Belgaum when a Padmaavat screening was bombed, and in Pune when the Sunburn festival terror conspiracy was hatched.
mid-day had reported on September 3 that the ATS had earlier found that during these dates Pawar was on leave from his job as a fitter at Mazgaon Docks Limited (MDL). As per ATS officers, Pawar was the bomb-maker and also had training in firing arms. The agency wants to know if Pawar was part of the group for whom Shrikant Pangarkar, ex-Shiv Sena corporator from Jalna, had arranged training.
Diary and SIM cards
Meanwhile, the ATS have decoded Pawar's diary seized from a locker at MDL, in which he wrote coded messages. Officers said they are yet to question him on the same. The investigators said Pawar used a SIM card registered in someone else's name, and the cell tower location from the card shows he was in Belgaum and Pune.
The probe revealed that the card was given to him by fellow accused Vaibhav Raut, who got it from Sudhanva Gondhalkar. ATS sources said Pawar returned it after use, and the SIM was then recovered from Raut during the raid at his house. Cops said the nexus between Raut and Pawar has been established. A total of five SIM cards were seized from Pawar.
Pawar was produced before additional sessions judge V S Padalkar on Tuesday, and the ATS asked for extension of his police custody, as they wanted to question him further. Defence advocate Sanjeev Punalekar said the ATS did not have satisfactory grounds for further custody. Pawar was eventually remanded to police custody till September 6.
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