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Posted at: Aug 21, 2018, 6:00 PM; last updated: Aug 21, 2018, 7:02 PM (IST)

Maharashtra govt pushes for ban on Sanatan Sanstha

Maharashtra govt pushes for ban on Sanatan Sanstha
Narendra Dabholkar was murdered on August 20, 2013, in Pune. File photo

Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service
Mumbai, August 21

The Maharashtra Government is preparing to send a new proposal to the Union Home Ministry for enacting a ban on Hindu right-wing organisation Sanatan Sanstha, according to sources here.

Following inputs provided by the state home department, a dossier on the Sanstha along with several allied organisations like the Hindu Jangruti Samiti and about a dozen splinter outfits manned by their members will soon be provided to the Union Home Ministry, according to sources. Officials say activists of the Sanstha, who have the support
of strong group of lawyers, have registered several little-known organisations in different districts of Maharashtra ostensibly for cow-protection and other activities.

On Monday, leaders of the Congress and the NCP demanded that state and central governments ban Sanatan Sanstha for planning terror activities. Though the Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra had sent two proposals to the central government seeking a ban on the Sanatan Sanstha, it was rejected by then UPA government at the Centre. Privately, sources in the Congress say then Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde wanted to go soft on the Sanatan Sanstha because it had deep roots in his constituency, Solapur.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Terror Squad of the Maharashtra Police has unearthed diaries and documents from the Sanatan Sanstha activists who were arrested in raids across the state earlier this month. Investigators suspect that members of the Sanstha may have prepared a hit list of people to be eliminated.

Police also think at least one police officer investigating the killings of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and communist leader Govind Pansare could be targeted. A diary recovered from HJS member Amol Kale in Pune reportedly has the name of CBI's Superintendent of Police Nandkumar Nai,r who was in charge of the investigation in the murder of Dabholkar. Police officials however refused to confirm whether Nair's name was on the hit-list.

A police team investigating the murder of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh arrested Kale.

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