Goa CM rejects demand for ban on Sanatan Sanstha

Panaji, Sep 23 (IANS) Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Wednesday rejected a demand to ban Sanatan Sanstha, whose members are accused of killing leftist leader Govind Pansare in Kolhapur in Maharashtra in February.

“There have been allegations against them (Sanstha) in Maharashtra, but as far as their functioning in Goa is concerned, there is nothing we have found objectionable. They have not created any controversy,” Parsekar told reporters at the state secretariat here.

The chief minister said a case against eight members of the Hindu right-wing organisation in connection with the 2009 improvised explosive device blast case in south Goa’s Margao town fell through because “concrete proof could not come out”.

While six Sanstha members were acquitted, two other accused, including Rudra Patil who is wanted in leftist Govind Pansare murder case, are still absconding.

The Goa unit of the Congress on Wednesday demanded a ban on state-based Sanatan Sanstha.

The right wing Hindu organisation was allegedly involved in spreading hatred and dividing the country on religious lines and should be banned, Goa Congress spokesperson Durgadas Kamat said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from St. Andre constituency, Vishnu Wagh, demanded a ban on the Sanstha, headquartered in Ramnathi village, 35 km from Panaji.

“In a democracy, there is no scope for violence. All those who try to use bullets to threaten the voice of opposition are terrorists, because they try to frighten the opposition. It is evident from the killing of Govind Pansare and M.M. Kalburgi. The Sanatan Sanstha’s hand is evident in these cases,” alleged Wagh who is considered close to the chief minister.

Many top politicians, including some cabinet ministers in the BJP-led coalition in Goa, have backed the organisation in public fora.

The Sanstha, through statements issued in Panaji, has repeatedly rejected the charges that its members were involved in the attack on Pansare, even as a Special Investigation Team probing the murder arrested Sanstha member Sameer Gaikwad and is on the lookout for another member Rudra Patil.

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