Locals want Sanatan Sanstha to be banned

The village panchayat covers Ramnathi where Sanstha's Ashram is located. The activities of this decade-old organisation moved to this village in 2003 when Ashram took shape here near Shree Ramnath Devasthan. All was well till October 16, when a blast rocked the commercial capital of Goa – Margao. Two Sanatan activists were killed in the explosion and subsequent investigation exposed entire network linking Sanstha's seekers to the conspiracy of serial bomb blast.

The eerie ilence filled with tension got vocal during the gram sabha on Sunday last when villagers vehemently spoke against the Sanstha. A villager Vasant Bhat moved a resolution seeking to ban Sanstha and it was adopted unanimously after discussion.

"The resolution is demanding ban on the institution and also seeks to investigate the affairs of Ashram," Divakar Salelkar, Bandora panchayat secretary, told PTI. Local sarpanch Prabhakar Gawde said they have forwarded the resolution to Governor S Sidhu, Chief Minister Digamber Kamat and local MLA Sudin Dhavalikar.

In the backdrop of locals raising a red flag against the ashram, the management filed a petition with Ponda police station alleging that a mob of ten people on Sunday tried to enter their premises. "They assaulted a labourer working there and pelted stones on the Ashram," Virendra Marathe, managing Trustee, Sanatan Sanstha, has said in the police complaint.

Police Inspector, C L Patil, said they will take action only after verifying the facts. Goa police has refrained from providing any protection to the Ashram premises.

"If there is any merit in the case filed by Sanstha, then police will surely give them the required protection," Superintendent of Police and Spokesperson for the Goa police department Atmaram Deshpande told reporters here. He said that the panchayat resolution will go to the directorate of panchayat and police cannot take cognizance till it reaches the department through proper channel.

Sanatan has been increasingly finding itself in a tight spot after Special Investigation Team (SIT) has put its activities under scanner. "Sanatan Sanstha is under scanner and SIT is probing all its aspects," Deshpande said. The ashram has around 200-odd inmates.

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