Right-wing activists planned to target Pune Sunburn festival in 2017, says Maharashtra ATS

Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad raids the house of Vaibhav Raut at Nalasopara on August 10. Pic credits: PTI

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad informed a Mumbai court on Tuesday two out of five right-wing activists who had been arrested in an arms case connection had planned to target a music concert in Pune in 2017 and had also hurled a petrol bomb outside a cinema hall, PTI reported.

The Squad said two of the accused – Vaibhav Raut and Sudhanwa Gondhalekar – wanted to target the Sunburn festival in Pune as they believed it “is against Hindu culture”.

The police have seized arms and ammunition from all five activists. They were produced before a sessions judge on Tuesday after their police remand came to an end. The police custody has been extended for a week.

Raut and Gondhalekar had been among the three who were arrested on 10th August, on allegations of being part of a conspiracy to carry out blasts across the state. The police discovered a large stash of crude bombs and weapons at Raut’s office and home. Raut is a co-founder of cow protection group Hindu Govansh Raksha Samiti, which is said to be affiliated with the right-wing Hindu Janajagruti Samiti. HJS is an offshoot of Hindutva group Sanatan Sanstha.

The arrested activists were also involved in setting off a bomb outside a theatre at Kalyan where the Hindi movie Padmaavat was being screened in January, the police claimed.

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