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Remove ‘secular’ from Constitution, demands Sanatan Sanstha; denies terror activities

india Updated: Aug 27, 2018 19:59 IST
Agencies
Agencies
Agencies, Mumbai
sanatan sanstha,terror activities,rationalists

Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) raids the house of a Sanatan Sanstha member Vaibhav Raut at Nalasopara, in Palghar. The ATS, reportedly, seized huge quantity of explosives from his residence.(PTI)

Sanatan Sanstha, which is currently under scanner from various agencies due to its alleged connection with the killing of rationalists, on Monday demanded that the word ‘secular’ be removed from the Indian Constitution. It also denied being a part of any terror activity.

Sanstha spokesperson Chetan Rajhans said the words ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ were added in the Constitution by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. “So, if there is a provision to add words, these can also be removed by the same provisions,” he said.

The organization also claimed that the people arrested in connection with seizure of explosives and arms from various parts of Maharashtra and those allegedly involved in the killing of rationalists were not its members.

Its spokesperson Chetan Rajhans told reporters that a few people with “progressive mindset”, along with political parties such as the Congress and the Left block, were putting the Sanstha in the dock without providing any evidence of wrongdoing.

The outfit is facing renewed calls of ban, after the arrest of several people in the state recently threw up the possibility of them having links with the Sanstha.

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad carried out raids in Nallasopara in neighbouring Palghar district and Pune between August 9-11, and arrested five people for allegedly stockpiling crude bombs, explosives and firearms.

Vaibhav Raut, Sharad Kalaskar, Sudhanwa Gondhalekar, former Shiv Sena councillor Shrikant Pangarkar and Avinash Pawar were arrested between August 10 and 24 and are in ATS custody.

The CBI, investigating the August 2013 killing of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, recently arrested Aurangabad resident Sachin Andure and has told a court he was the main shooter along with Kalaskar.

The central agency also told a special Pune court yesterday that there was a link between the killing of Dabholkar and journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru in September last year.

Karnataka Police’s Special Investigation Team, which is probing the killing of Lankesh, had met Maharashtra ATS officials in Mumbai last week to exchange information on their respective investigations.

“Our Sanstha is being targeted without any reason. The charges against us are baseless and mindless. None of the nine arrested accused is affiliated with our organisation. We have not even heard the names of Kalaskar, Andure, Surale brothers and Rege before this,” Rajhans said.

First Published: Aug 27, 2018 19:46 IST