Cong, NCP demands ban on Sanatan Sanstha

Cong, NCP demands ban on Sanatan Sanstha

Devendra Fadnavis

Hours after the Maharashtra ATS unearthed a terror plot by some right-wing activists, Opposition parties, the Congress and the NCP, demanded a ban on the Sanatan Sanstha.

The recovery of explosives from Vaibhav Raut's house and shop showed that the Sanatan Sanstha was planning to create a major disturbance in the society, former chief minister and Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan said.

He claimed that Raut was a member of the Sanatan Sanstha through his outfit and that he was seen at various meetings and press conferences of the right-wing group.

Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil claimed that the explosives were meant to be set off at religious places with a design to trigger communal riots. “The arrests come just ahead of Bakri-Eid,” he said.

NCP Maharashtra unit president Jayant Patil said detailed investigations need to be carried out as to for what the explosives were meant.

HJS, Sanatan distances itself

Meanwhile, the Hindu Janjagaran Samiti (HJS) and Sanatan Sanstha have distanced itself from Raut.

“The incident is needless harassment of activists of Hindu organisations. To implicate them in false cases is not new. This has been amply proved through Malegaon case. It has created doubts about whether the arrest of Raut is an instance of 'Malegaon Part 2',” said Sunil Ghanvat, HJS state organiser.

“News reports have mentioned Raut is a seeker of Sanatan Sanstha. He is daring cow-protector (gau-rakshak) and was active with Hindu Govansh Raksha Samiti. He used to attend programmes under the aegis of HJS,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sanatan Sanstha spokesperson Chetan Rajhans said that Raut was associated with several programme of the Hindutva movement. “Even before the chargesheet are filed, charges are proved in court, the Congress is seeking a ban on Sanatan Sanstha,” he said.

Not first time

This is not the first time a Sanatan Sanstha activist has been picked up. Role of Sanatan Sanstha activists has come to light in blasts in Vashi, Thane, Panvel (all in 2007) and Goa (in 2009).

People linked to Sanatan Sanstha were also probed for the sensational murders of rationalists, Narendra Dabholkar (2013), Communist leader Govind Pansare and writer MM Kalburgi (both in 2015) and journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh (2017).

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