Though the demand for a ban on right-wing Hindu organisation Sanatan Sanstha is gathering momentum, Maharashtra home department officials said immediate action was unlikely.
According to highly placed sources in the department, the state government will have to first establish a link between Sameer Gaikwad and the others arrested in Pansare murder case and then their links with the organisation before demanding a ban. Officials also claimed unless a direct link between the organisation and the Pansare murder was established, there would be no point in sending a proposal to the Centre.
The sources said since the proposal of a ban has been rejected by the Centre on two previous occasions, the government has to be extra cautious this time. Revenue minister and senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse, too, said on Monday that the ban on Sanatan Sanstha was unlikely to stand on legal grounds, unless the government had concrete evidence to prove the organisation’s involvement.
The previous Congress-led government in Maharashtra had proposed a ban on the Sanatan Sanstha and its sister organisations in 2011 for their involvement in terror activities. The proposal sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs had stated the Sanatan Sanstha be banned and declared as an unlawful organisation and to include its name in the schedule mentioned in Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 1967 as a terrorist organisation.
The proposal was, however, rejected by the central government, citing inadequate evidence to prove the organisation’s involvement in terrorist activities.