The radical Hindu outfit Sanatan Sanstha has claimed that its activists had nothing to do with the killings of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare in Maharashtra, and MM Kalburgi in Karnataka.
Addressing a press conference in Belgaum on Monday, the Sanstha’s spokesperson Abhay Varthak said, “There are efforts to malign our organisation. We are committed to the Hindu way of life and abhor violence. We condemn the killings of the rationalists.”
He also said that, Rudra Patil, one of his activists -- who is absconding -- is innocent. He said that Patil had gone into hiding as the police was about to arrest him on the “false charge” that he was involved in the Goa blasts of 2009.
Activists of the Goa based Sanstha are suspects in the Vashi, Panvel and Thane bombings of 2007 as well.
“We tried to convince Patil to work with the law and tried to offer him legal assistance. But he said he has no faith in the system and vanished. We have not been in touch with him since. We are sure that his name will be cleared in the courts. After that he will resurface on his own,” Varthak said.
He also said Sameer Gaikwad, a Sanstha activist arrested for the killings of Dabholkar and Pansare, is innocent.
He said, “Dabholkar who was a Maoist sympathiser and anti-Hindu used to malign us and accuse us of receiving foreign funds. So we held several demonstrations against him. But that doesn’t mean we killed him.”
Asked about the alleged militant training camps held by the Sanstha, he said, “We only trained our people in the use of Lathis (staves) and martial arts. It was for our self protection.”
Asked why no outsider is allowed to see what was happening in their training programs, he said, “We do not want any distraction. It is not because we are making bombs.”
The Sanstha is holding a public contact program in Belgaum on Tuesday along with Pramod Muthalik’s Sri Rama Sene and the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti.