Centre won’t ban Sanatan on its own

Published - October 13, 2015 01:53 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The Ministry of Home Affairs will wait for a proposal from either Maharashtra or Goa, both BJP-ruled States, to declare right-wing outfit Sanatan Sanstha a terrorist organisation and not take any suo motu action, a senior Ministry official told The Hindu .

The Maharashtra police have claimed that one of the members of Sanstha -- Samir Gaikwad -- arrested by it, was allegedly involved in rationalist Govind Pansare’s murder. Investigators also suspect that the killings of social activist Narendra Dabholkar and scholar M.M. Kalburgi could be linked to this organisation.

“Either of the State government -- Maharashtra or Goa -- has to write to us that they want the Sanatan Sanstha to be declared a terrorist organisation. We have no jurisdiction on the subject,” the official said.

The decision assumes significance as in 2009, when the activities of the Sanstha came under the radar for the first time, it was the MHA which had written to the governments of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka, seeking reports that could aid it in declaring it a terrorist organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act (UAPA).

The three State governments did send a response to the Centre, but the Sanstha could not be banned based on their submissions.

“Till now we have not received any representation from the State government requesting for a ban on the Sanstha,” said the official.

Another accused associated with the Sanstha, identified as Ravindra Patil, who is wanted by the National Investigation Agency in the 2009 Margao church blast case when two members of the Sanstha were blown up when the IEDs they were carrying accidentally detonated.

The MHA had in 2009 sent proposals to the governments of Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka to not only ban the Sanstha but also two other organisations – the Hindu Janjagruti Samiti, a sister organisation of Sanstha, and the Abhinav Bharat, the radical Hindu outfit led by Sadhvi Pragya and Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit, who were arrested fro their role in Malegaon blast of 2008.

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