Panaji, Sep 16 (IANS) Sanatan Sanstha member Samir Gaikwad, who was arrested by Maharashtra Police in connection with the murder of Communist leader Govind Pansare, was “innocent” and a “victim of a police plot”, the organisation alleged on Wednesday.
In a statement issued here, the Sanatan Sanstha’s managing trustee Virendra Marathe said the circumstances in which Gaikwad, a native of Maharashtra’s Sangli town, was arrested, were suspicious.
“Police purposefully arrested him after going through two crore call data records and searching only for the number of the Sanatan seeker under pressure from anti-Sanatan elements,” said Marathe, who heads the ashram in Ponda, 35 km from Panaji.
“Earlier, inquiry of many seekers of Sanatan was also conducted in the case of the killing of Dr. Dabholkar. Sanatan Sanstha also faced similar criticism on earlier occasions. However, no output came out of these inquiries,” he said.
“Samir Gaikwad, arrested in the case of the killing of Govind Pansare from Kolhapur, is a full-time seeker of Sanatan Sanstha, and we are sure that he is innocent and not guilty,” Marathe said backing Gaikwad, whose wife is also a member of the right-wing organistion and resides at the Goa ashram.
Gaikwad was arrested early Wednesday by the Maharashtra Police Special Investigation Team probing Pansare’s murder in February this year.
The Sanatan Sanstha’s possible role in the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabolkar in Pune was also probed by Maharashtra Police.
“Earlier, inquiry of many seekers of Sanatan was also conducted in case of the killing of Dr. Dabholkar. The Sanatan Sanstha also faced similar criticism on earlier occasions. However, no output came out of these inquiries,” Marathe said.
In the statement, the Sanatan Sanstha official also tried to pick holes in the manner of Gaikwad’s “suspicious” arrest which Marathe termed a “conspiracy to implicate innocent Samir Gaikwad”.
“When anybody is arrested, he is questioned and verified during initial 24 hours and then produced before the court within the next 24 hours. For this purpose, police have to prepare papers for seeking his remand, which may take a few hours,” Marathe said, adding that Gaikwad was immediately whisked to court after his arrest.
“This means the remand papers were prepared beforehand. This goes to show that the entire matter is a conspiracy. This is a serious matter and raises a question mark over the operating procedure of police,” Marathe said.
In the recent past, six members of the Sanatan Sanstha have been accused of trying to carry out a blast in 2009, in which two of its own members were killed. All six were, however, acquitted after police failed to prove the charges.