Gau Rakshaks chant anti-police, anti-govt slogans, take out protest march demanding release of terror suspect Vaibhav Raut

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MUMBAI: About 100 persons who claimed to be Gau Rakshaks or cow protectors, took out a protest march against the Maharashtra ATS demanding the release of arrested terror suspect Vaibhav Raut from whose residence and office over 30 pistols and a huge cache of explosives and other arms and ammunition have been seized.

The protesters chanted anti-police and anti-government slogans and said the BJP-led government in Maharashtra was trying to appease the Muslim community prior to the elections next year.

Also Read: Hindutva hardliners Raut, Gondhalekar and Kalaskar planned to blow up 6 theaters, Ganapati mandaps in Maharashtra

The Bhandari community and cow vigilantes on Friday took out a march along the streets of Nalasopara to show support to arrested terror plot suspect Vaibhav Raut by the state Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS), reports the Times of India.

Also Read: 150 pistols, 100 bombs, 3000 bullets were on the shopping list of arrested hardliners

Raut (40) who is in police custody till Saturday was arrested on August 10 from his Bhandaraly home in Nalasopara (west) for criminal conspiracy and planning to carry out bomb blasts to disturb the communal harmony.

Around 200 protesters joined the march that began from Bhandaraly village and culminated at the station.

Also Read: 35-40 bombs could be manufactured with explosives seized from Sanatan Sanstha member Vaibhav Raut residence and office

The protestors raised slogans of ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Jai Shree Ram’ amidst heavy police bandobast.

The protestors said that Raut, who belongs to the Bhandari community and is well known in the village for his Hindutva principles, was falsely booked by the ATS.

Also Read: Vaibhav Raut, other Gau Rakshaks were involved in extortion in the guise of cow protection: Extortion money was used to fund purchase of arms

The ATS has claimed to have seized explosives and arms and raw materials from Raut’s three-storey bungalow where he lives in a joint family,

The ATS has been conducting searches at his home and office since then. On Wednesday, the ATS had seized his vehicle, suspected to have been used to transport explosives.

Also Read: Ponda-based Sanatan Sanstha was the main Agency to carry out Killings, Gauri Lankesh was Second on a ‘Hitlist’ of 36 targets

A team of plain clothes ATS officers have been keeping a watch in the village since the past few days.

The Palghar police too conducted a march past on Thursday, ahead of the protest, reports the Times of India.

Protestors worn T-shirts with Raut’s poster and demanded that he be released.

With inputs from The Times of India

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