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We sent strong evidence to Centre for banning Sanatan Sanstha: Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan

The Maharashtra Congress has demanded a ban on the Sanatan Sanstha. Prithviraj Chavan tells The Indian Express that the Centre should either act on the recommendation made by the erstwhile state government headed by him, seeking a ban on the right-wing organisation, or clear its stand on the matter

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune | Published: August 22, 2018 11:11:14 am
We sent strong evidence to Centre for banning Sanatan Sanstha: Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan Former chief minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan  (Express Photo by Prashant Nadkar/File)

The Maharashtra Congress has demanded a ban on the Sanatan Sanstha. Senior party leader and former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan tells The Indian Express that the Centre should either act on the recommendation made by the erstwhile state government headed by him, seeking a ban on the right-wing organisation, or clear its stand on the matter

The Congress has demanded a ban on the Sanatan Sanstha. The Dabholkar family says Congress itself could have imposed a ban on the organisation when it was in power both in the state and at the Centre?

We had recommended a ban on the Sanatan Sanstha when I was heading the state government in 2011. In fact, we had taken suo motu action and that should be appreciated… this was before Narendra Dabholkar was murdered. We had recommended the ban after we found that the organisation was indulging in illegal and dangerous activities.

What was the Centre’s response when you recommended the ban?

When we first made the recommendation in April 2011, the Centre raised some queries. We answered all the queries and sent a 1,000-page dossier detailing the illegal activities of the organisation. We had recommended the ban on the Sanstha under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

What happened after that? Why didn’t the Centre act on your recommendation?

The decision has been pending with the Centre since 2011. I wouldn’t like to comment on it further.

Do you think the Centre didn’t act as it did not find enough substance in the recommendation to impose a ban?

We had sent strong evidence to bolster our claim and believe that the ban should have been imposed.

Even if the Sanatan Sanstha is banned, it can operate under another name…

At least the process of banning the organisation should start. Even if it operates under another name, police will identify the people who are running the other organisation and will be able to act against them.

The Dabholkar family is disappointed about the central government’s silence on demands for banning the Sanstha.

They have reasons to be disappointed. The Centre should either act on the recommendation made by the Maharashtra government or clear its stand.

On Dabholkar’s death anniversary, on August 20, activists lamented that the progress in his murder investigation has been slow…

Yes, it has been slow, but now there have been a flurry of arrests. The masterminds in the case should be unmasked.

The state Congress has also demanded the arrest of the Sanatan Sanstha founder…

Yes, we have demanded his arrest. Once the ban is imposed, those who run the organisation will automatically be in the police net.

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