Hindu hardliners planning to launch terror attacks on own religious festivals and pin blame on Muslims arrested

MUMBAI – A major plan to embroil minority Muslim community in a new controversy was busted after Indian police arrested three Hindu hardliners who had planned to launch massive terror attacks during upcoming events shockingly related to their own religion and others.

The Maharashtra ATS has arrested three person identified as Vaibhav Raut (40), Sharad Kalaskar (25), both from Nalla Sopara near Palghar and Sudhanav Gondhalekar (39) from Pune, who belong to radical setup. The security officials also recovered a huge caches of weapons and explosive from their processions.

An Indian online media outlet claimed that they had allegedly planned to target six theatres and at least 4-5 Hindu worship places named Ganapati mandops.

They wanted to create blasts in different parts of Maharashtra including Mumbai, Pune, Sangli and Solapur during the upcoming Eid and Ganapati festivals and subsequently put blames of the attacks on Muslims, it quoted polices sources, as saying.

The alleged terrorists had decided to carried out attack at such places which are close to localities of Muslim community as it will directly raise fingers on the minority community

The detained suspects had also aimed at targeting the liberal Hindu figures of the society during the Ganpati festivals.

Goa-based writer Damodar Mauzo was among those targeted, the online media claimed, adding that Mauzo has been given police protection since the last 3 weeks by the government following threats to his life.

The Maharashtra ATS has not officially confirmed the information regarding the targets set by the arrested persons, but said that they were investigating the case from all aspects.

However, the ATS officially said that the arrested suspects were planning bomb blast in the state with an aim to spark off communal riots.

The report further claimed that the alleged terrorists were trying to raise funds to purchase weapons, bombs and bullets for realising their heinous plan of series of attacks.

A suspect, Vaibhav Raut, is reportedly co-founder of a violent cow protection group formed in 2014. The outfit is allegedly associates with redical Hindutva organizations.

Gondhalekar is connected with the Shri Shiv Pratisthan, spearheaded by the controversial 85-year-old Sambhaji Bhide alias Bhide Guruji, which has patronage of the PM Narendra Modi, Indianscoops.com reported. Modi has openly praised Bhide and called him his guru or mentor.

Nearly 20 other associates or suspects have been interrogated to ascertain their connections in other parts of the state or outside.

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