Sanatan Sanstha says claims about seized tablets misleading
Organisation says medicines bought with authorised bills, used by members who were unwellmumbai Updated: Sep 10, 2016 00:15 IST
Right-wing Hindu organisation Sanatan Sanstha claimed at a press conference on Friday that the police and prosecution in the Govind Pansare murder care were misleading people by saying that various medicines seized from its ashram in Panvel may have been used by the organisation to control its members. Dr Virendra Tawade, who has been charged with the murder Pansare and his fellow rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, headed the ashram’s medical unit. The special investigation team told a magistrate court in Kolhapur on Thursday that the drugs they found at the ashram affected the nervous system.
Sanatan Sanstha, however, claimed the medicines were used by some of its members who are unwell, and prescribed by doctors who live at the ashram. “An army of 40 policemen entered the ashram premises on Ganesh Chaturthi and conducted searches for 16 hours but were unable to find anything. They then searched the dispensary at the ashram and the medicines were seized,” said Abhay Vartak, spokesperson for the organization. He added that around 100 members, including senior citizens, live at the Panvel ashram. “The dispensary is run by recognised and capable doctors with 20 to 30 years of experience. The medicines stocked in the dispensary are purchased with authorised bills,” added Vartak.
Friday’s press conference was attended by S D Salunke, retired joint commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. He said, “All the drugs fall under Schedule H of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and are prescription drugs. These are available in medical stores with a doctor’s prescription.”
Sanatan Sanstha also accused the SIT of harassment. “The raids were conducted as we were preparing for the Ganesh festival. They went on till the wee hours of the next day, which is harassment,” said advocate Sanjiv Punalekar, who represents the organisation.
According to the CBI’s charge sheet, Dr Tawade and other members of Sanatan Sanstha conspired to murder Dabholkar because of his campaign against superstition, which they considered anti-Hindu. Dr Tawade, an ENT specialist, was arrested on June 10 from his home in Panvel.