A group of activists, under the banner of Bharat Bachao Andolan, demanded the State government to ban Sanatan Sanstha and arrest its chief Dr. Jayant Athawale, at the Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh on Thursday.
The activists claimed that the Congress-led UPA government and the current BJP-led NDA regime had failed to crack down on right-wing organisations despite evidence of their involvement in ‘terrorism’.
The panel said right-wing organisations such as Sanatan Sanstha, Abhinav Bharat and Hindu Janjagran Samiti had to be banned as they were terror groups that operated with an agenda of provoking communal riots. They demanded the government to carry out rigorous investigation to bring to justice the killers of journalist Gauri Lankesh, rationalist Dr. Narendra Dabholkar and CPI activist Govind Pansare. The activists also called for a crackdown of groups responsible for mob lynching in the name of religion.
‘No right to kill’
Activist Charul Joshi said, “We demand a ban on these absolutely rabid, right-wing reactionary organisations who in the past four years have been involved in the murders of rationalists and columnists. Such people want to establish a state based on the hierarchical Brahmanical order and completely disregard our Constitution. You have the right to protest and propagate, but you do not have the right to kill anyone simply because they do not believe in your ideologies.”
The activists pointed out that the recent seizure of explosives in Nallasopara had unearthed a terror plot. They said right-wing organisations were spreading its tentacles spread across Maharashtra and other States and furthering their agenda to provoke a series of communal riots.
In a statement, Bharat Bachao Andolan said, “We as a nation must unite to counter the scourge of terrorism and pressure the government and investigating agencies to crack down on all such terrorist organisations. Else, we will witness the assassination of more writers and intellectuals, and the killings of innocent people in terror attacks. Whenever there is an attack on the Constitution, the ruling party is silent.” The activists said that key suspects identified and arrested in connection with the murders of Gauri Lankesh, Dr. Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare belonged to right-wing organisations, with the Sanatan Sanstha emerging as a common link.
Journalist Nikhil Wagle said, “There is a police report mentioning that the Sanatan Sanstha has been targeting people. In the past few days, names of people who have been given protection by the government have surfaced. A few of these people are Shrimant Kokate, writer Rajan Khan and Kumar Ketkar, all of them have been targeted. Why is the government keeping quiet?”
Sena stand questioned
The activists, including Tushar Gandhi, Jyoti Badekar, Feroze Mithiborwala and Jatin Desai demanded answers from the Shiv Sena. They asked its chief Uddhav Thackeray to release an official statement on giving support to Pragya Singh and Colonel Purohit who are accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case. They also sought a clarification on the Sena members who turned up at a rally in support of terror accused Vaibhav Raut in Nallasopara last week.
The panel also raised questions on the direct link of RSS members to the terror attacks on Ajmer Dargah, Mecca Masjid and the Samjhauta Express.