Palghar arms haul case: Sanathan Sanstha denies links with 12 arrested by Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad

Mumbai: The Sanatan Sanstha on Thursday said none of the 12 accused arrested in the Maharashtra arms haul case were the organisation's members as claimed by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in its chargesheet filed in a special court.

A spokesman of the Goa-based right-wing outfit refuted all the charges made against the organisation in the ATS document filed on Wednesday in the special NIA court presided over by Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Padalkar. Sanatan Sanstha national spokesman Chetan Rajhans said the outfit had full faith in the Indian judicial system and it will fight the accusations tooth and nail.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

In its charge-sheet, the ATS had said all the 12 accused were members of organisations such as the Sanathan Sanstha, and its affiliates like 'Hindu Janajagruti Samiti' and similar other smaller outfits, and motivated to establish a 'Hindu Rashtra'.

"They had drawn the motivation of making efforts towards the establishment of a so-called Hindu Rashtra as explained in the Marathi book 'Kshatra Dharma Sadhana', published by the Sanathan Sanstha," the ATS had told the court. However, Rajhans countered the charges.

"ATS has alleged that members of Sanatan Sanstha, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti and other similar organisations have been arrested (in the arms haul case). We have already clarified that nobody out of the arrested accused is a seeker of Sanatan Sanstha," Rajhans said in a statement.

He said the press note issued by the ATS about the chargesheet filed in the case was "extremely ridiculous and defective and deserves to be protested".

"If the press note is so defective, one can very well imagine how the actual chargesheet must be full of mistakes," the Sanstha spokesman said.

"Vaibhav Raut, Sudhanva Gondhalekar, Shrikant Pangarkar and Avinash Pawar (all accused in the case) have their own independent organisations and they had intermittently participated in the programmes or agitations about unity of Hindus held by Sanstha," he said.

He claimed the Sanatan Sanstha's holy text 'Kshatra Dharma Sadhana' does not mention the word 'Hindu Rashtra'. "Therefore, to say that they were inspired with the objective of 'Hindu Rashtra' by reading the book is totally false," Rajhans said.

The Sanstha spokesman said they have only seen the ATS press note and not its chargesheet. "However, we have not received the actual chargesheet. We will give a detailed response only after going through the chargesheet," he said.

The case relates to the seizure of arms and ammunition in August this year during raids conducted by the ATS at Nallasopara, Pune and some other parts of the state. The seized haul included 23 live country-made bombs, 15 pistols, 10 pistol barrels, six pistol magazines, three partially made pistol magazines and half a dozen pistol slides, the anti-terror agency had said.

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Updated Date: Dec 07, 2018 09:50:40 IST

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