The Congress party has urged Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to impose a ban on right-wing organisation Sanatan Sanstha. The party also asked CM Thackeray to take action against the organisation under the existing anti-terror laws.
Rajya Sabha MP and Congress leader Hussain Dalwai termed ‘Sanatan Sanstha’ as a terrorist organisation. The Congress MP compared it with SIMI (Students’ Islamic Movement of India), a banned Islamist organisation.
The Congress leader further asked the newly formed Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government to re-investigate the murder case of Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare. He also expressed doubts over the role of Dr Jayant Athavale, the head of Sanatan Sanstha.
However, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut voiced his opinion against the ban. The Shiv Sena leader said that ban will not serve any purpose. "Ban doesn't serve the purpose as it can't kill thoughts," The Indian Express quoted Raut as saying.
A total of eight people have been arrested so far in the Dabholkar murder case including few members of the Sanatan Sanstha.
Earlier, Goa-based Sahitya writer Damodar Mauzo had termed ‘Sanatan Sanstha’ as a ‘Cancer’ for the state. Following this, Mauzo was provided security cover after intelligence inputs from the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Karnataka Police expressed threat to his life.
On August 10, 2018, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra Police conducted a raid on the residence of Vaibhav Raut, a member of Hindu right-wing group Sanatan Sanstha and seized 8 crude bombs and raw material.
The previous NDA government headed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had requested the central government to ban the Sanathan Sanstha. However, a decision was deferred after the state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) reported to both the Centre and the state that the Sanatan Sanstha is not registered as a single group but as a separate entity in every district.