Nikhil Wagle, Shyam Manav, Mukta Dabholkar, Ritu Raj, Jitendra Awhad and others on the hit-list of far-right terrorists

The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Friday while seeking the extension of right wing activist, Avinash Pawar, came up with names of the people who were on the hit list of the accused as the accused believed that they were Anti-Hindu.

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

Sources in the Karnataka Special Investigation Team (SIT) told IndiaScoops.com that Amol Kale who was the leader of the fringe group responsible for the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh told his interrogators that the Maharashtra unit or cell of the far-right terror group was planning to plant bombs at the very popular “Bandra Fair” at the Mount Mary Church at Bandra, which attracts thousands of devotees in September.

Also Read: Terror Suspects Planned to Bomb Mahim Dargah, Bandra Fair at Mount Mary’s Church and Pune Sunburn Festival

The Maharashtra ATS claimed that activists like Shyam Manav, Mukta Dabholkar, Ritu Raj, Jitendra Awhad and several others were allegedly on their radar.

“They also had plans to set off bombs at some Ganpati Mandals across Maharashtra, the Mahim dargah during Muharram as well as the Mount Mary Church during the peak festive season starting in September. The bombs would be of low-intensity, which were meant to create a scare and fear psychosis in the mind of the people,” the SIT official told IndiaScoops.com.

Also Read: Journalist Nikhil Wagle was No 2 on the hit list of Maha Terror Suspects

The court however did not appreciate the fact that the ATS has not come up with concrete new investigation from the police custody of accused Pawar, which was granted a week back.

Also Read: Hindutva hardliners Raut, Gondhalekar and Kalaskar planned to blow up 6 theaters, Ganapati mandaps in Maharashtra

The court however considered ATS’s plea and granted Pawar’s custody till September 4.

The ATS till now have arrested five alleged right wing activists for allegedly trying to attack the city.

Also Read: Shrikant Pangarkar assembled bombs, funded purchase of explosives and boasted of ‘explosions’ and ‘bomb blasts’ to MoS Arjun Khotkar

The accused allegedly have already bombed two movie theaters, one in Kalyan and other in Belgaum which had released the film ‘Padmavat’, the court was told.

Also Read: Shiv Sena leaders including Uddhav Thackeray were fully aware of Shrikant Pangarkar’s terror links, ‘explosions’, ‘bomb blasts’ plot?

These men had allegedly also tried to attack and bomb the Sunburn music festival in Pune on the ground that it was a ‘western culture and an anti-Hindu activity,’but as the bomb plot was shelved at the last moment, it was an unsuccessful attempt.”

Also Read: Ex-Sanatan Sanstha seeker alleges “members hypnotized, made into killing machines and human bombs ready for mass murder or genocide”

ATS officials claimed in court that two of the accused – Gondhalekar and Raut – planned to attack the music festival scheduled in Pune for December 2017 because they felt it was “against Hindu culture”.

Sunburn was held in Goa until 2015, and shifted to Pune in 2016.

Terror Suspects Planned to Bomb Mahim Dargah, Bandra Fair at Mount Mary’s Church and Pune Sunburn Festival

According to a Hindustan Times report, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Tuesday claimed in a special court that the five recently arrested sympathizers of the Hindu right-wing group Sanatan Sanstha (the group has distanced itself from the accused and said they are not its members) planned to plant explosives at last year’s edition of Sunburn, an annual electronic dance music festival in Pune.

Also Read: Shiv Sena leaders including Uddhav Thackeray were fully aware of Shrikant Pangarkar’s terror links, ‘explosions’, ‘bomb blasts’ plot?

All five were arrested earlier this month from Nalla Sopara, Pune and Jalna in connection with an arms case, and were remanded to ATS custody.

Meanwhile, sources in the Karnataka Special Investigation Team (SIT) told IndiaScoops.com that Amol Kale who was the leader of the fringe group responsible for the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh told his interrogators that the Maharashtra unit or cell of the far-right terror group was planning to plant bombs at the very popular “Bandra Fair” at the Mount Mary Church at Bandra, which attracts thousands of devotees in September.

Also Read: Shrikant Pangarkar assembled bombs, funded purchase of explosives and boasted of ‘explosions’ and ‘bomb blasts’ to MoS Arjun Khotkar

There were 6-7 locations in Mumbai alone and about 20 different locations all over Maharashtra which were being considered by the terror suspects, Kale is understood to have told his interrogators.

“They also had plans to set off bombs at some Ganpati Mandals across Maharashtra, the Mahim dargah during Muharram as well as the Mount Mary Church during the peak festive season starting in September. The bombs would be of low-intensity, which were meant to create a scare and fear psychosis in the mind of the people,” the SIT official told IndiaScoops.com.

Also Read:  With nearly 16-18 bomb blasts across the State, Sharad Kalaskar’s group plotted to rain terror and chaos in Maharashtra during Eid and Ganpati festivals

ATS officials claimed in court that two of the accused – Gondhalekar and Raut – planned to attack the music festival scheduled in Pune for December 2017 because they felt it was “against Hindu culture”.

Sunburn was held in Goa until 2015, and shifted to Pune in 2016.

Also Read: Hindutva hardliners Raut, Gondhalekar and Kalaskar planned to blow up 6 theaters, Ganapati mandaps in Maharashtra

Prosecutors appearing for the ATS made these assertions before a special court constituted to try Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act cases. On Tuesday, four of the five accused – Vaibhav Raut, Sharad Kalaskar, Sudhanva Gondhalekar and Shrikant Pangarkar – were produced in court, with prosecutors seeking an extension of their custody.

Special court judge Sameer Adkar extended their custody by seven days. The fifth accused, Avinash Pawar, will be produced in court on August 31, reports Hindustan Times.

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

ATS also claimed that the five accused were involved in throwing petrol bombs outside cinema halls in Kalyan (a city in Thane district, 50 km north-east of Mumbai), and Belagavi (earlier known as Belgaum) in Karnataka for screening the Hindi movie ‘Padmaavat’, Hindustan Times reported.

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

ATS further claimed that the accused planned to attack individuals who they thought were propagating or engaging in activity that was “against the Hindu religion”.

Atulchandra Kulkarni, Maharashtra ATS chief, said he could not “confirm the names because it will pose a security threat to the individuals.”

Also Read: Ex-Sanatan Sanstha seeker alleges “members hypnotized, made into killing machines and human bombs ready for mass murder or genocide”

The individuals include an author-historian; a former Marathi newspaper editor and three Marathi authors and playrights, ATS officials said on condition of anonymity. Hindustan Times did not name them because of the perceived security threat to the individuals.

The ATS officials also said they had recovered three motorcycles, including one from Nalla Sopara and two from Pune, and claimed one of three bikes, allegedly owned by Kalaskar, may have been used in the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru in September 2017.

Also Read: Maha Govt Protected and Shielded Right-Wing Murder-Accused for Four Years, Gauri Lankesh Probe Forced Mah Govt to make Arrests

In their raids, ATS officials claimed to have recovered 10 pistols, one air pistol, one country-made revolver, 10 pistol barrels, six pistol bodies, six magazines, three handmade magazines, one half-prepared country-made revolver, and seven hand-made pistols from Gondhalekar.

Also Read: Journalist Nikhil Wagle was No 2 on the hit list of Maha Terror Suspects

Sunil Gonsalves, the public prosecutor appearing for ATS, told the court that the weapons used by the accused had been dismantled and were thrown away at different places to avoid detection, and that they needed to be recovered. He didn’t elaborate.

with inputs from Hindustan Times

BJP will be wiped out in 2019; won’t allow NRC in Bengal: Mamata Banerjee

KOLKATA: Launching a scathing attack against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Centre, West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise will not be allowed in the state. She added that the BJP will be wiped out in the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

“We will not allow NRC exercise in Bengal. They (BJP leaders) are challenging us. If we are challenged, we will give them a fitting reply,” she said.

Referring to the recent panchayat polls in the state, she alleged that the party is resorting to politics of killing in the state.

“The BJP won just a few seats in erstwhile Maoist hotbed of Jangalmahal by resorting to politics of killing. The former CPI(M) goons are now working for them,” she said at a rally here on the occasion of Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (students’ wing) foundation day.

The chief minister also said that she would not “tolerate” if a citizen is wrongfully tagged a foreigner here.

“We are Bengal tigers, we will not tolerate if an Indian citizen is dubbed a foreigner,” she asserted.

Banerjee has been a vocal critic on Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft, calling it an attempt to isolate Bengalis, Biharis and Hindus out of the state.

“West Bengal will suffer because of this. There will be huge ramifications of this (Assam NRC). Where will these 40 lakh displaced persons stay? Bangladesh won’t take them back,” Banerjee had said after the release of the historic Assam NRC document, that had names of 40.07 lakh applicants missing.

Source: Zee News

Will Teach Modi Government A Lesson: MK Stalin After Taking Charge Of DMK

CHENNAI: MK Stalin stepped into his father M Karunanidhi’s shoes today, formally taking over as the chief of the DMK, with a call to arms for his party men. “My dream is to oppose who give a religious colour to everything… We will teach a lesson to the Narendra Modi government,” said the new party chief.

The 65-year-old, who has been handling the party for more than a year, also set a closer target. “Let’s throw away the corrupt government in Tamil Nadu,” said the leader, who took charge three weeks after his father’s death.

The ceremony took place at the DMK headquarters, where black-and-red party flags and drumbeats brought a festive air for the first time since Mr Karunanidhi’s health took a turn for the worse more than a month ago. After the meeting, Mr Stalin visited his father’s memorial on Chennai’s Marina Beach to seek his blessings.

Looking back at the 49 years of Karunanidhi’s leadership, Mr Stalin said, “I never dreamt that I would lead the party. It is a huge responsibility… I don’t say I would lead. Let’s do it together. Let’s question all including ourselves if we go wrong”.

The DMK — which has taken turns with arch-rival J Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK to share power in the state for decades — has now set its sight on national politics. Over the last months, Mr Stalin has been a vocal part of the opposition that’s trying to cobble together a front to take on the BJP in the national elections next year.

“Today’s political situation has come as a grave challenge. Education, art, literature, religion are under attack by authoritative and communal forces. The Union government is trying to destabilise judiciary, selection of governors. All this has dealt a blow to the secular principles,” Mr Stalin said. Under the BJP, even the rights of state governments were being trampled upon, he added.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders including Mamata Banerjee congratulated Mr Stalin on his elevation. “Congratulations to Shri M K Stalin on being elected President of the DMK. I wish him happiness & success as he begins a new chapter in his political journey,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

Source: NDTV

PM Modi assassination plot: Pune police arrest revolutionary writer Varavara Rao from Hyderabad

Pune: Maharashtra police on Tuesday raided the homes of prominent Left-wing activists in several states and arrested at least four of them for suspected Maoist links, sparking a chorus of outraged protests from human rights defenders.

The raids were carried out as part of a probe into the violence between Dalits and the upper caste Peshwas at Koregaon-Bhima village near Pune after an event called Elgar Parishad, or conclave, on December 31, 2017.

The arrests are “a dangerous sign of a government that fears it is losing its mandate and is falling into panic. That lawyers, poets, writers, Dalit rights activists and intellectuals are being arrested on ludicrous charges,” award-winning author Arundhati Roy told PTI.

Near simultaneous searches were carried out at the residences of prominent Telugu poet Varavara Rao in Hyderabad, activists Vernon Gonzalves and Arun Ferreira in Mumbai, trade union activist Sudha Bhardwaj in Faridabad, and civil liberties activist Gautam Navalakha in New Delhi, a senior police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Subsequently, Rao, Bhardwaj and Ferreira were arrested.

“They have been arrested under the relevant sections of Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for their alleged naxal activities,” said the police official, without elaborating.

Although Navalakha was also arrested, the Delhi High Court ordered police not to take him out of the national capital at least until Wednesday. The high court was hearing a habeas corpus petition filed on behalf of Navalakha by his advocate Warisha Farasat after he was picked up from his Delhi home this afternoon by the Maharashtra police.

According to unconfirmed reports, others whose residences were raided are Susan Abraham, Kranthi Tekula, Father Stan Swamy in Ranchi and Anand Teltumbde in Goa.

Koregaon-Bhima occupies a central place in Dalit history — it witnessed a major battle in which the Peshwa rulers were defeated on January 1, 1818 by the British army, comprising a large number of Dalit soldiers.

Every year, the anniversary of the battle is marked by thousands of Dalits assembling in Pune and marching to Koregaon-Bhima to a war memorial.

Police say the speeches made at the conclave on December 31, a day before the 200th anniversary of the battle, were one of the triggers for the violence.

Today’s events mirrored simultaneous raids conducted in June when five activists were arrested in connection with the Koregaon-Bhima violence.

Rao’s name had figured in a letter which the Pune police claimed to have seized during searches at the premises of one of the five people arrested in June in connection with the Elgar Parishad.

The five were accused of having close Maoist links, according to an FIR registered at the Vishrambaug Police Station after the event.

Rao was arrested from his residence at Gandhi Nagar in Hyderabad by a Pune police team, which earlier searched the residences of his two daughters.

A senior police official said the team conducted searches at the residences of Rao’s two daughters and a journalist, among others, before arresting him.

“Pune police sought our assistance. We have provided them with local force to assist in conducting searches and making the arrest. He (Rao) … will be produced in a court and taken to Pune on transit warrant,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central Zone) Viswa Prasad told PTI.

Civil Liberties Committee president Gaddam Laxman accused the BJP Government of “attacking intellectuals physically and mentally torturing them.”

“We are consulting legal experts. We will fight legally … His arrest is a gross violation of human rights,” Laxman told reporters.

In June, Dalit activist Sudhir Dhawale was arrested from his home in Mumbai, while lawyer Surendra Gadling, activist Mahesh Raut and Shoma Sen were picked up from Nagpur and Rona Wilson was arrested from his flat in Munirka in Delhi in simultaneous raids.

“During our investigation in connection with the Elgar Parishad event, some evidence came to light about members of a proscribed organisation, following which the police carried out raids in Chhattisgarh, Mumbai and Hyderabad” today, the police official said.

The searches were conducted at homes of people having Maoist links and those directly or indirectly connected with the five arrested people, the official said.

The police claimed to have recovered “some incriminating documents” during the searches.

“We are also checking the financial transactions of these people, their modes of communication and also trying to gather technical evidence,” the police official said.

However, outgoing joint commissioner of Pune police Ravindra Kadam, had said on August 2, that no Maoist links were found in the Koregaon-Bhima violence.

He had, however, said an anti-fascist front, formed by the Maoists to oppose the policies of the current government, was behind the Elgar Parishad.

Today’s arrests were condemned widely.

“Fascist fangs are now openly bared,” tweeted lawyer Prashant Bhushan.

“It is a clear declaration of emergency. They are going after anyone who has spoken against the government on rights issues. They are against any dissent,” Bhushan said.

Noted historian Ramachandra Guha called the action “absolutely chilling” and demanded the intervention of the Supreme Court to stop this “persecution and harassment” of independent voices.

“Sudha Bharadwaj is as far from violence and illegality,” tweeted Guha.

Source: Deccan Chronicle

Cost-cutting results in Bigg Boss 12 theme change: No celebrity couples on Salman Khan’s show due to budgetary restraints?

Indian television’s most loved and controversial reality show Bigg Boss usually goes on air by October but this time it’s been preponed by a month. Salman Khan’s show will reportedly begin on September 16 and the makers have been trying their best to rope in the spiciest lot for the twelfth season, says a DNA report.

This time, it was reported, that the producers were keen on roping in celebrity couples. Salman Khan’s promo also showed how the audience will get to witness ‘vichitra jodis’ in the show.

However, some extreme changes had to me made to the format as the makers apparently could not find suitable celebrity jodis for the show, an India Forums report stated.

A source confirmed the report to BollywoodLife.com saying, “There will be no celeb jodis. 6 single celebs will enter the house. 5 commoner jodis will enter the show with 5 single commoners.

Later on, the singles will be paired inside the house with the celebs and that is how the concept of ‘vichitra jodis’ will work.”

Another twist that’s likely to be introduced is that not all the contestants will be entering the main house on the first day. Some of them, including both celebrities and commoners, will be kept in a separate house. It’s not yet known whether the contestants inside the main house would be informed about the secret-house inmates or not.

According to Bollywood publicist Flynn Remedios who has handled PR for several former Bigg Boss contestants including Arshi Khan, Shradha Sharma, Claudia Ciesla, besides several others and has one ear inside the Endemol and Colors‘ offices, the real reason to drop the celeb jodis was budgetary restrains and cost-cutting measures undertaken by the makers due to a shortfall in sponsorship due to harsh market conditions.

The market is very bad. The makers have not been able to reach their targets in terms of sponsorship. The celeb jodis were demanding too much moolah and since Salman Khan’s fees cannot be cut, the makers decided to do away with celeb jodis and only bring in easily available individual celebs, Remedios said.

He also rubbished media reports that adult star Danny D and Mahika Sharma were being paid Rs 95 lakh per week.

There are hardly any sponsors. There is no money in the market. You must be bonkers if you think some Danny D or Fanny Bee will be paid Rs 95 lakh per week, particularly when they do not have any fan following or dedicated viewers in India, Remedios quipped.

One more interesting change that the audience will get to witness is that Salman, who used to earlier interact with the contestants through ‘Me TV‘ on Weekend Ka Vaar special episode, will now grill the housemates from a class-room.

The host will be made to sit in a class-room and the screen through which he will communicate will look like a blackboard, DNA reports.

We also hear that the show may get postponed due to some technical glitches and the final premiere date wil be declared soon. As of now, Sristy Rode and Shaleen Bhanot are said to have been confirmed for the controversial show, DNA reports.

with inputs from DNA

Illegal activities tarnished the image of BJP and Narendra Modi govt. Centre decided to teach these fringe elements a lesson, claims Home official

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has asked the Maharashtra government to submit a detailed report on its investigation into extremist Hindutva organisation Sanathan Sanstha, which is suspected to be involved in the killings of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, communist leader Govind Pansare, writer MM Kalburgi and journalist Gauri Lankesh.

Deepak Kesarkar, state minister for home, confirmed to DNA that they are updating the report daily with details daily.

Also Read: Ex-Sanatan Sanstha seeker alleges “members hypnotized, made into killing machines and human bombs ready for mass murder or genocide”

“When something big happens, it is routine practice for us to inform the central government. The investigation is in a primary stage. We have not yet confirmed that Sanathan Sanstha was involved in the killing of Dabholkar and the others. The probe is under way and going in the right direction,” Kesarkar said.

He said the state is not interfering in the investigation. “The police are at complete liberty to find the culprit, irrespective of their affiliation. The guilty should be punished and we will not spare anyone who is involved in organised crime,” Kesarkar said.

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

Sources in the state home department said the central government has directed it to deal with “anti-social” and “anti-national elements” with an iron fist. “The Centre told us that Sanathan Sanstha or any other extremist Hindutva organisation causing violence in the name of cows and Hindu dharma has to be stopped.

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

These illegal activities have tarnished the image of the BJP and the Narendra Modi-led government. Therefore, the centre had decided to teach these fringe elements a lesson,” a departmental source said, requesting anonymity.

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

Another officer from the state home ministry said that the BJP-led government did not want to take any risk before 2019 elections. “So the police have got a free hand to probe this case and arrest the conspirators,” he said.

Source: DNA

Popular Bollywood dancer Abhijeet Shinde commits suicide due to depression after seperation with wife, daughter

Abhijeet Shinde, a popular Bollywood dancer, who has worked with actors like Ajay Devgn, Ranbir Kapoor and Ranveer Singh, has reportedly committed suicide.

According to the latest reports, Abhijeet was found hanging from the ceiling of his fan at his home. However, no suicide note was found near his body.

Abhijeet committed suicide after a few days of depression. Apparently, he was disturbed as his wife separated from him 3 months ago and was not even allowing him to meet their daughter.

A Police officer talking to Mumbai Mirror said, “Shinde’s wife had been living at her mother’s place since the past three months. She was not allowing Shinde to meet their two-year-old daughter, which upset him badly. He had been depressed over the past few days.”

A senior inspector of Bhandup, Ramesh Khade said, “We registered an accidental death report and handed over the body to the deceased’s family members after conducting a postmortem.”

According to a report by Mumbai Mirror, Abhijeet was found hanging from the ceiling fan at his house. The police have found a suicide note as well in which he has mentioned that he wants to transfer his bank account on the name of his daughter.

While speaking to Mumbai Mirror on this, the police said, “Shinde’s wife had been living at her mother’s place since the past three months. She was not allowing Shinde to meet their two-year-old daughter, which upset him badly.

He had been depressed over the past few days. We registered an accidental death report and handed over the body to the deceased’s family members after conducting a postmortem.

”It was Abhijeet’s neighbours who informed the police about his suicide. The door of his house was open and when neighbours entered his house, they found them hanging from the ceiling wall. He was taken to the hospital where he was declared dead.

Source: Mumbai Mirror

Parel Crystal Tower Fire: Builder Supariwala switched-off fire-fighting equipment, did not obtain BMC OC even after 5 years

On August 22, a fire broke out on the 12th floor of Crystal Tower, where 18 people were injured and four lost their lives.

The Bhoiwada police arrested builder Abdul Razzak Ismail Supariwala late on Wednesday night.

He has been sent to police custody till August 27, 2018, informed N Ambika, Deputy Police Commissioner, Zone 4.

After the fire broke out in the morning, in less than half-an-hour, the fire intensified and engulfed the entire 12th and 11th floor.

The firefighters were able to douse the fire after struggling for two hours.

Meanwhile, they rescued 10-12 residents as well.

Residents claim that a short-circuit was the cause behind the fire. They blamed the builder for not acquiring the OC from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

They also mentioned that the tower that was built five-years ago not only violated safety norms but the builder deliberately switched-off fire-fighting equipment. Meanwhile, while dousing the fire, five firefighters were injured.

Maharashtra government to fast-track proposal for ban on Sanatan Sanstha

After the latest breakthrough in the murder of rationalist and anti-superstition crusader, Dr Narendra Dabholkar, the state government is looking at fast-tracking its long-pending proposal to ban the controversial Sanatan Sanstha.

The senior state government functionaries said they were appraising the Centre about the developments in the case, in which members of the right-wing radical Hindutva group, which is headquartered at Ponda in Goa, have been accused of alleged involvement in Dabholkar’s killing in 2013.

Dabholkar, who headed the Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti and edited the Sadhana weekly, was shot dead by two assailants riding a motorcycle on August 20, 2013, while on his morning walk, in Pune.

After an arms and crude bombs haul at Nalasopara and Pune, at least four right-wing workers — Vaibhav Raut, Sudhanva Gondhalekar, Sharad Kalaskar and former Shiv Sena corporator Shrikant Pangarkar were arrested by the state Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) since August 9 for allegedly planning terror activities in some cities of Maharashtra. Sachin Andure, who was arrested from Aurangabad, has been accused of shooting Dabholkar with Kalaskar.

Deepak Kesarkar, minister of state for home, said they would appraise the Centre of the investigations in the case. “It will depend on what is revealed in the probe. We have ensured compliance on the queries raised (by the Centre on the Maharashtra government’s proposal) earlier,” he added.

A senior home department official said their 2011 proposal to the Union Home Ministry to ban the Sanstha was still pending. This proposal had mentioned cases registered against the members of the outfit founded by Dr Jayant Balaji Athavale.

“The Centre raised some queries which we replied to. Since 2015, no fresh queries were sent. The delay may be because so far, no members of the group have been convicted and some cases are sub-judice,” he explained. Moreover, banning any outfit or organisation made their activities go underground and hence, tough for the law enforcement agencies to track.

“We have sent our report on the case involving Vaibhav Raut, Sharad Kalaskar and Sudhanva Gondhalekar to the union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). As a protocol, if an Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, case is registered by any agency, it has to send a report within 24 hours to the MHA and the state home department,” said an ATS officer.

Founded as the Sanatan Bharatiya Sanskruti Sanstha in the 1990s, the organisation have been registered in different names across states, making it difficult for agencies to track and ban them.

Leader of the opposition, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and other opposition figures have also sought that the outfit be proscribed. However, Sanatan spokesperson said Congress leaders were targeting the group to “save their own skin.”

Sadhaks (seekers or devotees) of the Sanstha have been allegedly linked to the murder of Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Govindrao Pansare in 2015 at Kolhapur and the group has been accused of being allegedly involved in planting explosives at theaters in Thane and Vashi. The group also publishes a daily called ‘Sanatan Prabhat.’

Source: DNA