Terror suspects associated with Sanatan Sanstha were planning bomb blasts at Pune’s Sunburn in 2017: ATS

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Mumbai: The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra on Tuesday claimed that three accused in an arms case were planning to plant a bomb in 2017’s edition of Sunburn, Pune. It is an annual electronic music festival. The accused are sympathisers of Hindu right-wing group Sanatan Sanstha.

The Sanatan Sanstha has denied reports of them being members of the organisation.As per reports, the accused were planning to bomb the western concert in 2016 and 2017.

According to ATS sources, prime accused Vaibhav Raut, Sharad Kalaskar and Sudhanwa Gondalkar were targeting the festival. The ATS disclosed this before a special court where four of the five accused were produced on Tuesday.

The five accused were arrested in an arms case and were remanded to ATS custody. The prosecutors of the ATS also argued that it needs an extension in their custody to extract further information in relation to the planned bomb blasts.

Former Shiv Sena corporator, Shrikant Pangarkar, who is also one of the accused, financed the plot as per the ATS. As per reports, the Sanatan Sanstha has denied any connection to those accused. However, it has come forward to defend them.

During the hearing, the ATS said that two of the accused, Gondhalekar and Raut, were planning to attack the festival because it was “against Hindu culture”. Their custody was extended by seven days by the special court judge Sameer Adkar.

As per Hindustan Times, the officials also claimed that one of the three bikes that was recovered may have been used for the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru in September 2017.

As many as 10 pistols, one air pistol, one country-made revolver, 10 pistol barrels, six pistol bodies, six magazines, three handmade magazines, one half-prepared country-made revolver, and seven hand-made pistols were also recovered during raids.

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