After the arrest of far-right extremist Vaibhav Raut, said to be an active member of the Sanatan Sanstha, videos and other evidence has surfaced on social media which shows that Raut was linked not just with the Sanstha, but was closely associated with the Hindu Janjagruti Samiti, the Sri Ram Sena and several other far-right extremist Hindutva organisations.
He was also part of an unnamed secret core group or unit or hit team formed by pulling in hardliners from different Hindutva outfits and trained or tasked to kill and eliminate anti-Hindu voices.
Writer and journalist was one of the victims of this unnamed killer unit. The police suspect that the murders of liberalists Dhabolkar, Pansare and Kulbargi were carried out by the same team.
The Sanatan Sanstha has denied accepting Vaibhav Raut as their active member.
Sanatan Sanstha advocate Sanjeev Punelikar told the press that Raut was acquainted with its member, but was not a seeker of the Sanatan.
“Raut had been externed by the Palghar police in connection with a beef ban case. While he is a Hindutva worker, he isn’t our member. However I doubt the ATS claim of he hoarding explosives,” said Punelikar.
Even after, disassociating Vaibhav Raut from Sanatan Sanstha, the advocate added that the outfit would provide Raut legal aid as reported by the Indian Express.
Sanatan Sanstha officials said Raut is being framed by the police because he was an active gau-rakshak.
As soon as the news of Raut being caught with explosives took to social media, another video of Vaibhav Raut has surfaced on the internet. In the video, he is seen “requesting” women to dress “appropriately” so that men do not get “distracted”.
The Sanatan Sanstha issued a press note claiming that Vaibhav Raut was a part of the Hindu Janjagruti Samiti (HJS). However, he has not been active for the past couple of months.
HJS Maharashtra organiser Sunil Ghanvat said Raut is a fearless cow protector (gau rakshak).
But he denied Raut was actively involved with his organisation.
Both the Sanatan Sanstha and the HJS got into a war of words, each trying to deny Raut’s association with their organisation, claiming that he was just a sympathizer.
According to videos being circulated on Facebook and Twitter, Raut was also involved with the Sri Ram Sene and conducted seminars and workshops for the outfit.
A video of Vaibhav Raut has surfaced on the internet where he is speaking on behalf of the Sri Ram Sene. In the video, he is seen “requesting” women to dress “appropriately” so that men do not get “distracted”.