Sanatan Sanstha based at Ponda suppressing details of outstation and foreign visitors: Goa ATS


Panaji: The Goa anti-terrorist squad (ATS) officials told that the Sanatan Sanstha based at Ponda in North Goa are not revealing the correct details of outstation, inter-state and foreign visitors to their complex and suppressing submission of details of several persons who visited the place from Maharashtra and Karnataka.

It may be recalled that the Karnataka Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the murders of journalist Gauri Lankesh and other rationalists like Pansare and Kalburgi have arrested several persons associated or having links to the Sanatan Sanstha. The Maharashtra ATS have also arrested Vaibhav Raut and 5 others who were either sympathizers and supporters of the Sanatan Sanstha or its members.

Meanwhile, according to a Times of India report, the Sanatan Sanstha based at Ponda in South Goa, in a press release said it has filed a complaint against an officer of the Goa Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) for ‘interacting threateningly’ with an office-bearer of the sanstha. The complaint has been filed with the SP of Goa ATS, Karthik Kashyap.

“A letter was given to Sanatan Sanstha in August, 2018, that information about migrant visitors from outside the State and foreigners who visit Sanatan’s Ashram, Ramnathi, Ponda, should be submitted every fortnight,” said Sanstha spokesperson Chetan Rajhans. He said the Sanstha started submitting the information, reports TOI.

“Goa ATS officer Brijesh Naik interacted threateningly with Virendra Marathe. Naik is trying to pressurize the Sanstha’s office-bearers. It is afraid whether some wrong details are being passed to the ATS headquarters,” Rajhans said. However, the Goa ATS claims that the Sanstha is not providing the information required under law.

All hotels, guest-houses and lodges including ashrams have to provide details of outstation visitors and foreigners staying on their premises within 24 hours of check-in.

Responding to these allegations, Goa Congress said no political party should support extremist groups, days after the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party batted for the Sanatan Sanstha claiming the outfit was not involved in killings of rationalists and activists.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary A Chellakumar said his party has always been against creating division in society. “All political parties should keep away from extremist groups, whether they are of religious or any other nature,” he told news agency PTI.

One cannot support any extremist group, said the Goa Congress in-charge.

MGP president Dipak Dhavalikar had said on Sunday that there are some people who want to project the Sanatan Sanstha as a “wrong-doer”.

Police suspect involvement of activists linked to the Sanatan Sanstha in the killings of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, MM Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh.

However, the outfit, which has its headquarters at Ramnathi village in Madkai area of North Goa district, has denied its involvement in these cases, reports PTI.

MGP leader Sudin Dhavalikar, the brother of Dipak Dhavalikar, is an MLA from the Madkai constituency.

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