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Maharashtra government to use evidence from recent arrests to pitch for ban on Sanatan Sanstha

The proposal to ban the outfit has been pending with the Centre for the past seven years

mumbai Updated: Aug 22, 2018 01:12 IST
Surendra P Gangan
Surendra P Gangan
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,sanatan sanstha,Deepak Kesarkar
A Sanatan Sanstha hostel at Miraj in Sangli, Maharashtra.(HT FILE)

In support of the proposal to ban Right-wing Hindu outfit Sanatan Sanstha, the state on Tuesday said it would submit fresh documents and evidence that has emerged after the investigation of Vaibhav Raut, an alleged sympathiser of the group arrested in connection with a purported plot to carry out blasts in Mumbai, Pune, Satara, and Nalasopara to disturb communal harmony.

The proposal to ban the outfit has been pending with the Centre for the past seven years.

Minister of state for home Deepak Kesarkar said the findings of the fresh breakthrough will be submitted to the Centre. “Investigating agencies have been questioning Raut and other accused arrested... The interrogation is expected to reveal more information related to the Sanstha. We will apprise the Centre about the latest development. The decision to ban the organisation can be taken only by the Centre,” he said.

The state had sent the proposal seeking a ban on the sanstha in 2011. “We sent a proposal to ban the Sanstha to the ministry of home affairs, on the basis of five cases of crude bomb blasts in 2008 and 2009. In 2013, the Centre raised fresh queries related to the status of the case filed by the Sanstha against the proposal and investigation into the pending cases. The department answered the queries in 2015. There was no fresh communication from either side after that,” said an official from the chief minister’s office.

The blasts included the one at Cineraj Cinema at Panvel and the one at Vishnudas Bhave Auditorium during the show of Marathi play Amhi Pachpute, among others.

Officials from the home department feel banning the Sanstha will not serve any purpose as such organisations are floated under various names. Besides, the investigation is yet to be completed. “None of the accused has been convicted. Without establishing the involvement of the accused in the crime and their links with the Sanstha, it would not be appropriate to ban the organisation,” the official said, requesting anonymity.

First Published: Aug 22, 2018 01:12 IST