SP, Congress reiterate demand to ban Sanatan Sanstha

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Mumbai, Aug 21 (IANS) Amidst the ongoing crackdown on right-wing activists by the CBI and ATS, the Samajwadi Party on Tuesday demanded a ban on the Sanatan Sanstha and its leaders.

Maharashtra SP President Abu Asim Azmi also asked the Centre and the state government to ensure adequate security at various mosques ahead of the Eid Al Adha festival.

“The ATS has said there was a major plan to foment communal disturbances and made terror strikes in different cities of Maharashtra. It has also seized large quantities of arms and explosives from Palghar,” Azmi pointed out.

In the wake of these seizures, Maharashtra ATS chief Atulchandra Kulkarni should also be provided strong security, he said.

Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil asked Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to immediately arrest the Sanatan Sanstha founder-chief Jayant B. Athavale.

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He alleged that the activities of the organisation were nothing short of ‘terror’ and sought a ban on the outfit.

Referring to the recent police actions, Vikhe-Patil said he had specific information that nearly 500 youths have been trained to use firearms and they must be tracked.

For this, it was imperative to arrest Athavale, which would help unravel Sanatan Sansthan’s modus operandi and plans, he said.

A Sanatan Sanstha spokesperson has dismissed all charges against it and said no such training was imparted to any youth and that it was a spiritual organization.

On Tuesday, a large of Sanstha and Hindu Janjagran Samiti activists took out a procession in Pune protesting what they termed attempts by various organisations and political leaders to defame them.

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They carried banners, posters and placards with slogans of Hindu unity and flaying organisations like the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS), headed by the slain rationalist Narendra Dabholkar.

HJS convenor Parag Gokhale said neither his organization nor the Sanstha were in any manner involved in the killing of rationalists like Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, M.M. Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh.

–IANS

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