Palghar arms case: Sanatan Sanstha rubbishes ATS claims

Mumbai, Dec 6 (IANS): A day after the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) named several Hindu rightwing organisations for involvement in the August 2018 Palghar arms haul, the Sanatan Sanstha on Thursday rubbished the contentions of the investigating agency.

"The chargesheet filed by the ATS is extremely ridiculous and defective," said Sanatan Sanstha spokesperson Chetan Rajhans.

On the ATS claim of a terror group being influenced by the Kshatradharma Sadhana to fight for a Hindu nation, Rajhans said: "There is not a single reference to ‘Hindu Nation' in the holy text and hence the allegations was baseless."

Referring to the ATS charge that several of the arrested persons belonged to Sanatan Sanstha, Hindu Janjagran Samiti and other Hindu organisations, the spokesperson said that way back on August 26 the Sansthan had said none of those arrested were its members (seekers).

However, Vaibhav Raut, Sudhanva Gondhalekar, Shrikant Pangarkar and Avinash Pawar ran their own independent outfits and intermittently joined their programmes or agitations on Hindu unity organised by the Sanstha.

Though the investigating agencies were aware of the other orgnisations, they have deliberately not named them, barring the Sanstha and HJS because they propagate 'dharma' and want to 'awaken the Hindu nation'.

"This shows an attempt made to target the Sanstha and HJS with a vengeful attitude. Earlier we have never denied that those involved in past cases were our seekers… However, at attempt to name individuals who are not our members and target the Sanstha is despicable and needs to be protested," Rajhans said.

Questioning the ATS on the attempts to disrupt "Sunburn", the upcoming three-day international year-end music festival in Pune with bombs and firearms, the Sanstha said some Hindu activists were arrested earlier this year.

"We have been opposing this festival for the past three years through all Constitutional means, creating awareness on how the organisers merrily break all laws, avoid paying taxes of crores of rupees, sell drugs and liquor illegally in prohibited areas, youngsters have died because of consuming the drugs, and indulging in noise pollution," Rajhans said.

Besides, the damage to Indian culture, even villagers have come forward to oppose it in the past three years without even a minor incident of violence, but now the ATS was accusing the Sansthan of plotting to bomb the festival, he said.

"We have full faith in the judiciary and call upon the investigating agencies to show courage and actually proceed with the prosecution so that we will be able to establish our innocence," Rajhans said.

The ATS chargesheet filed on Wednesday before the Special NIA Court in the Palghar arms haul case named several Hindu groups who were allegedly conspiring for terror attacks and targeting rationalist individuals across the state, especially in Mumbai and Pune.

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