Ruling out the banning of Sanatan Sanstha under political pressure, Maharashtra Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse on Monday said if such a demand was accepted, even political outfits such as All-India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) could face the heat.
“Such demands could be made for them too,” Khadse said.
Khadse, the senior most minister in the Maharashtra cabinet, said, “Investigations in the Govind Pansare murder case are still in progress. Investigation agencies are working on important leads. We won’t hesitate to ban Sanatan Sanstha if there is concrete evidence that establishes their link in the case.” Khadse said that any decision to ban an outfit without adequate evidence would be bad and not stand scrutiny of law.
The demand for a ban on Sanatan Sanstha gained ground after the Maharashtra police arrested Sanatan activist Sameer Gaikwad earlier this month in connection with the murder of rationalist Govind Pansare.
The Opposition in Maharashtra has been targeting the Fadnavis government for not acting on the demand. While Khadse and Fadnavis had earlier ruled out banning the outfit under political pressure, the revenue minister dragged AIMIM into the debate on Monday.
Some political leaders feel that the minister’s comment was timed to create an impact in the upcoming local body elections in Kolhapur and Kalyan-Dombivali municipal corporations; a contention which the BJP has refuted.