Pansare family writes to ATS, seeks probe against Sanatan Sanstha chief 

Pansare family gave a detailed report to Maharashtra ATS asserting that a pro-Hindutva outfit Sanatan Sanstha was carrying out a plan to kill intellectuals in Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Last Updated : 02 July 2024, 14:57 IST

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Mumbai: Ahead of Bombay High Court hearing, family members of leftist leader Govind Pansare gave a detailed report to Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) asserting that a pro-Hindutva outfit Sanatan Sanstha was carrying out a plan to kill intellectuals in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

They family even reiterated their demand to examine the role of Dr Jayant Athavale, the founder of Sanatan Sanstha.  

Pansare-family members— Dr Megha Pansare, Smita Pansare, Adv Kabeer Pansare, in a 68-page letter to Jayant Meena, Superintendent of Police, ATS, Pune division, brought several facts to light. 

“Comrade Pansare was bitterly opposed by right-wing Hindutva organisations such as Sanatan Sanstha, Hindu Janjagruti Samiti, etc, for his ideologies of secularism, rationality, equality, and lifelong work of uplifting the marginalised and authoring books like Shivaji Kon Hota?,” the letter stated. 

The Pansare family demanded that 'necessary steps' must be taken against Sanatan Sanstha founder Dr Jayant Athavale, its leader Virendra Marathe and others for their alleged role in Pansare murder case.

The letter also drew similarities and pointed out links between the murders of Comrade Pansare, Dr Narendra Dabholkar, Prof M M Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh.

In the letter, the Pansare-family, which has been seeking justice for nearly a decade, said, “We would like to draw your attention to the five chargesheets filed in the case of Comrade Pansare.

Twelve persons have been arrayed as accused. Two of the twelve accused have been declared absconding. All the accused are members of Sanatan Sanstha and/or Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and some of the accused are also named in the murder cases of Dr Narendra Dabholkar, Prof M M Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh and Nalasopara weapons seizure case, and other related cases, which proves that there exists a common link,” the letter points out. 

The family claimed that the ATS and other agencies like CBI, Maharashtra Police, Karnataka Police and Goa Police are aware of the role of Sanatan Sanstha and its ‘sadhaks’, in the  four murders and other heinous crimes.

“However, for reasons best known to the investigating agencies, this angle has not been examined,” they said, adding that it is necessary to  examine the role of Sanatan Sanstha and the people governing it as an “organised terrorist network of criminals acting under the guidance and directions” of Jayant Athavale and Virendra Marathe.

In the Nalasopara explosives seizure case,  large numbers of pistols, bombs and explosives were seized by Maharashtra ATS in 2018 and a chargesheet was filed on February 18, 2019, against twelve persons, who are members of Sanatan Sanstha and/or Hindu Janjagruti Samiti, it said. 

“On bare perusal of the chargesheet filed by ATS in the Nalasopara case, it has been categorically recorded that the objective of Sanatan Sanstha and its members is to terrorize the society at large and carry out terrorist activities, motivated by Kshatradharma Sadhna,” the letter claims. 

“….facts and circumstances produced state that there exists a larger conspiracy and involvement of masterminds beyond the arrayed accused.

The investigating agency ought to have examined the office bearers of Sanatan Sanstha whose involvement in larger conspiracy cannot be ruled out. From the use of psychiatric drugs on its members without their consent to planning and executing murders and bomb-blasts, it cannot be said that these conspiracies are possible with involvement of only members of Sanatan Sanstha,” the letter said. 

Dr Narendra Dabholkar was a rationalist and anti-superstition activist, who was the founder of Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS). He was shot dead on 20 June, 2013,  by two unidentified gunmen near Omkareshwar temple in Pune. 

Comrade Govind Pansare, a rationalist, trade unionist, social activist and leader of Communist Party of India along with his wife, Uma were attacked by two youths on a motor-cycle on 16 February, 2015, near his home in Kolhapur. He died four days later on 20 February, 2015, at the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai.  

Prof Malleshappa Madivalappa Kalburgi, a noted scholar and writer, had run-ins with right-wing Hindutva groups for many years. He was shot dead on 30 August, 2015, by unidentified gunman at the former's residence in Kalyan Nagar locality of Dharwad.

Gauri Lankesh, journalist-turned-activist was shot dead outside her residence in Bengalaru on 5 September, 2017. She worked as an editor in Lankesh Patrike, a Kannada weekly started by her father P Lankesh, and ran her own weekly called Gauri Lankesh Patrike.

Published 02 July 2024, 14:57 IST

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