Pansare murder: Sanatan Sansthan claims being ‘targeted’

Mumbai, Sep 18 (IANS) Under a cloud after one of its activists was nabbed for the murder of Communist leader Govind Pansare, right-wing group Sanatan Sanstha on Friday claimed it was being targeted by political parties with a design to malign its image.

Just because one person — Samir V. Gaikwad — has been arrested on certain technical grounds, most political parties were making a demand to ban and kill the Sanatan Sanstha, the organisation’s spokesperson Abhay Vartak told media persons.

“People from the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party and others never miss the opportunity to malign our image, though we are a completely patriotic organisation engaged in nationalist activities,” Vartak said, naming several people to justify his contentions.

The Sanatan Sanstha’s self-defence came in the wake of Gaikwad’s arrest in connection with Pansare’s murder in February. He was nabbed from Sangli and is currently in police custody till September 23.

Vartak said the organisation was fully backing Gaikwad as he was being wrongly implicated in the case and expressed confidence that the truth will soon come out.

A Sangharsh Samiti formed after Pansare’s murder met and submitted a memorandum to the Kolhapur collector demanding a ban on the Sanatan Sanstha.

Lawyers in Kolhapur have demanded that charges of treason should be invoked against Gaikwad and have unanimously decided not to fight his case in court.

In a related development, Maharashtra Police on Thursday detained two more people — Sushil Jadhav and Shriram Jadhav — from Karnataka in the same case.

Pansare, 81, was shot at from close range in Kolhapur on February 16 and succumbed to the bullet injuries four days later.

His wife Uma, who was also shot at and seriously injured, survived the attack.

Police raided Gaikwad’s residence in Sangli and recovered 23 mobile phones, a large knife and Sanatan Sanstha literature, while further investigations are on in other parts of the state.

A police team from Karnataka has also arrived here to question Gaikwad to ascertain a possible link between the Pansare killing and the recent murder of Kannada litterateur M.M. Kalburgi, who was shot dead outside his home in Dharwad on August 30.

Investigators are probing whether the killing of Pune rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, who was shot dead in August 2013 was also connected to the murders of Pansare and Kalburgi.

Investigations are on simultaneously in various parts of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka.

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