Palghar arms seizure: Ex-Sena corpoator-cum-financier nabbed

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Mumbai : Continuing its investigations into the August 9 arms seizures in Palghar, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) nabbed former Shiv Sena corporator Shrikant Pangarkar from Jalna, official sources said on Monday.

A businessman, Pangarkar - alleged to be the main financier of the Palghar operations - was brought to Mumbai and booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Explosives Act, Explosive Substances Act and more.

Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Padalkar remanded him in police custody till August 28.

Seeking his custody, the ATS urged the court that investigators needed to probe his links in the sensational arms seizure case of Palghar, his other associates, analyse hard disks, pen drives and other incriminating materials seized from his home in Jalna.

Besides, the prosecution said that Pangarkar was allegedly providing funds to the other three accused and investigators needed to probe his banking details.

A businessman dealing in grains and kerosene, Pangarkar is a former two-term Shiv Sena corporator from Jalna, but quit the party in 2011 to become a full-time Hindutva activist and later shifted to Aurangabad.

He was associated with several right-wing organisations including the Hindu Janjagran Samiti over the past few years.

Pangarkar's arrest comes 10 days after three others - Vaibhav Raut, Sharad Kalaskar and Sudhanva Gondhalekar - were nabbed from Nala Sopara in Palghar and Pune following the discovery of a large cache of arms and explosives.

Early on August 10, the ATS created a sensation by claiming to have unearthed a terror plot targeting Mumbai, Pune, Satara and Solapur ahead of the Independence Day celebrations and the upcoming Bakri Eid festival.

Besides nabbing the three right-wing activists, it unearthed a mini arms production unit, recovered 20 crude bombs, explosive material to manufacture another two-to-four dozen bombs, five country-made pistols, three incomplete pistols, 39 cartridges, springs, triggers and other materials.

The ATS is also probing the links of these activists with the ongoing probe into the killings of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, Gauri Lankesh and others.