THE MAHARASHTRA Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Monday told a special court in Mumbai that the name of former Shiv Sena corporator Shrikant Pangarkar was found in the diary of an accused in Karnataka. Pangarkar was arrested for allegedly funding the arms and ammunition that was procured by men arrested on terror charges last month.
While the court granted the ATS Pangarkar’s custody till September 6, suspected Hindutva group members Vaibhav Raut, Sharad Kalaskar and Sudhanva Gondhalekar — arrested on terror charges — were sent to judicial custody.
Seeking an extension of Pangarkar’s police custody, the ATS said that a report sent by the Karnataka Police had shown that Pangarkar’s name was found in the diary as well as in call data records of an accused in Karnataka. The agency did not reveal which case it was referring to but sources indicated that it was connected to the investigation into the 2017 murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh in Karnataka.
The ATS told the court that Pangarkar was using two mobile phones, one registered under his name, while another was “operational”. It claimed that according to the location of this number, Pangarkar had been visiting Karnataka since August 2017. The ATS added that Pangarkar had conducted recce in Amravati and during his police custody last week, he was taken to the location and a panchnama was drawn up as evidence.
The police also claimed that the handwriting, voice samples and statements of Pangarkar’s three bank accounts have been procured. It is still to be probed about how Pangarkar had received funding for the arms and ammunition, it added.
Lawyer Sanjeev Punalekar, representing the accused, said that the ATS had not given any grounds for further extension of Pangarkar’s custody. However, the court went on to grant the ATS Pangarkar’s custody till September 6.
Meanwhile, the CBI sought Kalaskar’s custody in connection to the murder case of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar. The agency claimed that Kalaskar is one of the shooters involved in the murder. A Pune court had issued a production warrant against Kalaskar on August 23. Kalaskar will now be taken to Pune and produced before the special CBI court on Tuesday, where the agency will seek his police custody.