The Shiv Sena on Thursday said killers of rationalists Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar should be punished, but Hindus should not be dubbed as "terrorists" in their own country by merely "adding up" different cases.
In an editorial in the party mouthpiece 'Saamana', the Sena said killings of Pansare, Dabholkar, journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh and rationalist M M Kalburgi could be individual conspiracies and the mastermind may not be the same.
Referring to the recent police action against five activists for suspected Maoist links, the party said, "The Naxal supporters who had been arrested were termed 'purported' supporters of Naxalism while Hindutvavadis were directly termed as Hindu extremists."
It is surprising that Hindus, in their own country, are termed terrorists, especially in the 'Modi-Fadnavis' regime, said the Sena, which is an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Maharashtra but has often been critical of its alliance partner.
The Sena, however, also praised Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis saying he is right in giving standing instructions to the police not to look right and left while taking action.
Earlier this month, the CBI arrested Sachin Andure, one of the alleged shooters in the Dabholkar murder case, and told a Pune court that the killings of Lankesh in Bengaluru last year and Dabholkar in Pune in 2013 were "linked".
The Maharashtra ATS has also arrested five right-wing activists in connection with the seizure of a large cache of explosives and arms earlier this month.
The CBI recently sought custody of one of these five men, Sharad Kalaskar, to question him in connection with Dabholkar's killing, but its plea was rejected by a Mumbai court.
Pansare was killed in Kolhapur in February 2015 while Kalburgi was shot dead at his house in Karnataka's Dharwad district in August 2015.
The Sena said it is yet to be ascertained if the mastermind behind the killings of Pansare, Dabholkar, Lankesh and Kalburgi is the same.
"All of them were individual thinkers, associated either with the communist or the Samajwadi ideology. Their killings can be separate conspiracies," it said.
A person, Samir Gaikwad, was caught in connection with the murder of Pansare and a charge sheet was also filed against him, the Sena said while asking "how are these new persons arrested for the same incident?"
The charge sheet filed by the CBI has named Sarang Akolkar, who was also a suspect in the Margao blast (at Goa in 2009) and has now been declared an absconder, the editorial in the Marathi daily said.
"So who are these new people who have been arrested? The government has decided they are Hindu terrorists and they should be finished," it alleged.
"One of the accused in Gujarat riots, Amit Shah, who had to go to jail, is now a national leader. This means Hindutvavad is not terrorism or a blot. The brains behind Pansare and Dabholkar's murders should be punished. However, things should not be added up to term Hindus as terrorists," the editorial said.
It was also being said those who have been arrested had plotted to kill some "high-profile" people, the Sena pointed out, and asked, "who are these high profile people?"
Some days back, there were reports that there was a threat to the life of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and conspiracies were being plotted against him, it said.
Since the needle of suspicion was on Maoists, there were raids in several places, the Sena said.
However, only some threatening letters and other documents were recovered from these people, the Sena said, adding that on the contrary, bombs, rifles and explosives were recovered from the 'Hindutvavadis'.