Mumbai, Aug 11: A team of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested three persons on Friday for allegedly plotting bomb blasts to disturb communal harmony. One of the accused was identified as Vaibhav Raut at whose home in Nala Sopara explosives, and crude bombs were allegedly found. Raut is reportedly associated with the Sanatan Sanstha and the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti. He is also a gau rakshak with the Hindu Govansh Raksha Samiti.
According to the website of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, Raut addressed a press conference in 2016 where he stated that he had been regularly attending an annual convention called the Hindu Adhiveshan organised by the outfit and the Sanatan Sanstha in Goa, reports The Indian Express. Sunil Ghanvat, Maharashtra and Chattisgarh state organiser of the Hindu Janjagruti Samiti, also admitted Raut's links with the outfit.
"Raut is a daring cow protector and used to participate in programmes and agitations organised through uniting Hindi organisations under the aegis of Hindu Janjagruti Samiti," Ghanvat said in a press release on Friday. He, however, added that Raut had not been taking part in the outfit's activities for a few months. As a gau rakshak, Raut used to stop vehicles carrying cattle to the nearby Sopara village, said a Times of India report.
Despite belonging to the meat-eating Bhandari community, Raut had turned vegetarian and used to preach to people to not consume meat. He had once stopped New Year's celebration as well. Raut and his associate Sharad Kalaskar were arrested from Nala Sopara. Sudhanav Ghondalekar was nabbed in Pune. The ATS recovered 20 bombs, two gelatin sticks, 4 electronic detonators, 22 non-electronic detonators and 150gm white power besides other suspicious materials.