MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, Goa Congress demands a ban on Sanatan Sanstha

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PANAJI: The Congress in Goa has demanded a ban on the Sanatan Sanstha, which is under the scanner for the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and others including journalist Gauri Lankesh, even as it targeted Sudin Dhavalikar for his “close links” with the right wing outfit.

The right-wing radical outfit has come under the scanner after a huge cache of arms including 11 pistols, 5 unfinished pistols, explosives and other bomb-making material enough to make 50 bombs was seized from their ‘seekers’ or ‘sadaks’ at Palghar in Maharashtra.

Also Read: Hindutva hardliners had planned to blow up 6 theaters, Ganapati mandaps in Maharashtra

Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco released a video where he mentioned his reservations about the activities of the Sanatan Sanstha and demanded a ban on the outfit.

According to Lourenco, Goa and Goans, irrespective of their religion or community are peace-loving people who have lived in perfect harmony with each other. An outfit like the Sanatan Sanstha which is instigating communities against each other and whose leaders make provocative statements against the minority community are not welcome in Goa.

Also Read: 150 pistols, 100 bombs, 3000 bullets were on the shopping list of arrested hardliners

Vaibhav Raut a violent gau rakshak was the co-founder of a cow protection group, Hindu Govansh Raksha Samiti set up in 2014. The group is allegedly associated with Hindu Janjagruti Samiti, Shiv Prathisthan and the Sanatan Sanstha, all of which are radical far-right Hindutva organizations.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha has 22 different outfits, registered in different States under different names

The involvement of the Sanatan Sanstha has cropped up in several acts of violence and terror including the murder of rationalists Dabholkar, Pansare and Kulbargi as well as journalist Gauri Lankesh.

Raut was among the three persons arrested by the Maharashtra ATS last week for possession of explosives, arms and other weapon and explosive manufacturing materials.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha wants to set up a Saffron Army of 2000 trained killers and shooters for terrorist activity

ATS sources said the accused had collected material to manufacture about 50 bombs and was trying to put together about 150 pistols for terror activity use in the next 6-8 months.

The Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) found a mini arms-making unit or factory at the residence of one of the arrested persons and is now probing their links in Uttar Pradesh and Assam, official sources said on Monday.

Also Read: Vaibhav Raut, other Gau Rakshaks were involved in extortion in the guise of cow protection: Extortion money was used to fund purchase of arms

The arrested persons were in the process of procuring machines and lathes to make country-made pistols and also fabricate bullets. They had obtained training from illegal arms manufacturing units in UP and Bihar, ATS sources revelaed. Imported arms were procured from Assam.

Local Congress politicians and meat traders in Palghar near Mumbai from where Raut was arrested have termed Raut an extortionist who would extort money from meat transporters and fund his illegal arms manufacturing activity.

Also Read: 35-40 bombs could be manufactured with explosives seized from Sanatan Sanstha member Vaibhav Raut residence and office

The Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) found a mini arms-making unit or factory and is now probing their links in Uttar Pradesh and Assam, official sources said on Monday.

The arrested persons were in the process of procuring machines and lathes to make country-made pistols and also fabricate bullets. They had obtained training from illegal arms manufacturing units in UP and Bihar, ATS sources revelaed. Imported arms were procured from Assam.

Also Read: Arrested for possession of explosives, Vaibhav Raut was an active member of Sanatan Sanstha and Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and a vociferous Gau-Rakshak

“The activities of Sanatan Sanstha should be banned from immediate effect. One of their seekers (follower) has been arrested by CBI in connection with the Dabholkar murder case, while another one (Sarang Akolkar) is on the run since the Margao bomb blast in 2009,” a Congress spokesperson said.

“We demand that the Sanatan Sanstha be declared as terror organisation and banned. We had written to the union ministry in the past but they said that it is a state matter,” Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco said.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha’s bank account was used to channel funds for Gauri Lankesh murder, pay off killers

Sanatan Sanstha is headquartered at Ramnathi village, 30 kms from Panaji, near Ponda town.

Goa Congress president Girish Chodankar said, “The Sanatan Sanstha or any organisation that behaves like an extra-constitutional authority should be banned,” he said, highlighting that it had been named in the murder of progressive intellectuals like M M Kalburgi, Govind Pansare, Narendra Dabholkar and Gauri Lankesh.

Also Read: Ponda-based Sanatan Sanstha was the main Agency to carry out Killings, Gauri Lankesh was Second on a ‘Hitlist’ of 36 targets

“When its name figures in all these murder cases, there is no reason why it should be allowed to continue functioning,” the Congress leader said.

Among the prominent institutions of Goa that have demanded a ban on the Sanstha is the Konkani Bhasha Mandal (KBM) — the state’s leading literary institution.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha members Raut, Gondhalekar, etc., linked to PM Modi, Amit Shah, VHP and RSS

Referring to the threat to writer Damodar Mauzo‘s life, the KBM president, Chetan Acharya, said it was the first time that a writer had been threatened in the coastal state.

“Goa is known for its peaceful co-existence and we don’t want institutions like the Sanatan Sanstha which work like extra-constitutional bodies,” Mr Acharya said. “We strongly demand a ban on it so that it can’t spread hatred in Goa any further.”

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha like cancer, a killing agency and breeding ground for murderers, ban it, demands Goa-based Sahitya writer Damodar Mauzo

The Congress Goa spokesperson questioned that “if Pramod Muthalik can be banned then why not Sanatan Sanstha?”

Goa government has banned the entry of Sri Ram Sene chief Pramod Muthalik in the state citing law and order issues.

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