A special court on Tuesday refused to grant further police custody of the two accused arrested from Jalgaon on terror charges to the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).
Four men — Vasudev Suryavanshi, Leeladhar Lodhi, Sujeeth Kumar and Bharat Kurne — were arrested over two weeks ago and produced before the court on Tuesday evening.
The ATS submitted that they required further custody of Suryavanshi and Lodhi to investigate further into where they had trained to use firearms and from where they had procured stolen vehicles recovered from them.
Special Judge VS Padalkar observed that some of the grounds submitted by the ATS were already shown in an earlier application. The court said that the accused were with the investigation officer under police custody for a sufficient period. “Despite it, the detailed investigation with full proof is not brought on record. Granting of police custody on such grounds, which were already noted in an earlier application is in fact not proper. I find no ground to grant further police custody,” the court said.
Suryavanshi and Lodhi were arrested on September 8 in connection with its ongoing investigation into the alleged plot by members of the right-wing Hindu organisation Sanatan Sanstha to carry out bomb blasts in major cities.
Special Public Prosecutor Sunil Gonsalves submitted before the court that during the probe it was revealed that the accused, including the previously arrested accused (nine in all), were found to have conducted recces to target events and persons who were perceived to be against Hindu religion and culture.
He said that Suryavanshi had revealed that at the instance of Lodhi, he along with Sachin Andure, arrested for the murder of nationalist, Narendra Dabholkar, had received training to use firearms in November 2014. He said that vehicle parts of motorbikes were found at the instance of Survayanshi in Beed, believed to have been dismantled by him and disposed of.
The ATS submitted that Suryavanshi, a mechanic by profession, had given a demonstration of how vehicles are stolen. The ATS also claimed that Lodhi had given a demonstration of how a bomb is made.
The court, however, said that the engine number of the vehicles claimed to have been stolen are nowhere shown in the statement or revealed to the ATS officer.
Meanwhile, after the ATS submitted that it did not require further custody of Kumar and Kurne, the court ordered for their custody to be handed over to the court in Bengaluru, from where they were brought this month.
The two are in custody for the alleged murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh. The court directed that they should be produced in Bengaluru before September 28. The ATS, however, sought permission to conduct a Test Identification Parade, to show the two men to witnesses for identification. The court will hear arguments by the ATS on this plea on Wednesday.