Two weeks after the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh, Goa-based Sanatan Sanstha said the investigation should not end up as it did in the case of Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare.
While Narendra Dhabolkar, a rationalist was shot dead in Pune in 2013, Govind Pansare, a CPI leader was killed in a similar fashion in 2015. Although their killers are yet to be arrested, the CBI and the Maharashtra police had probed the involvement of Sanatan Sanstha in both the murders.
‘Explore all angles’
On Thursday, the Sanatan Sanstha together with other right-wing groups the Hindu Janajagruti Sangha and the Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad held a joint press conference in Bengaluru demanding that the Special Investigation Team probing Gauri Lankesh’s killing be objective while exploring all possible angles into the murder.
Alleging that “Leftists” are falsely implicating the Sanstha and other Hindu outfits in the crime, the right-wing groups also demanded that the SIT be allowed to do its job without any pressure.
“First of all, we unitedly condemn the murder. We believe a thought should be only fought with another thought,” Chetan Rajhans, national spokesperson for the Sanatan Sanstha told reporters at the Press Club in Bengaluru.
He, however, went on to hit out at those who held right-wing organisations responsible for the journalist’s assassination, stating, “Even before an SIT is formed, from the next day itself some Communist-minded activists, journalists alleged that right-wing organisations were behind the murder. This is a very organised campaign to malign Hindu organisations.”
'Will fully co-operate'
The Santha spokesperson also clarified that contrary to rumours that the SIT had arrived at its ashram, no such thing had taken place. Chetan, however, said that individual volunteers have been questioned by the police from individual police stations.
“If the SIT wants to question us we will fully co-operate with the investigation. We are a responsible organisation and are part of the democratic system,” he added.
The Hindu Janajagruti Sangha, which was also under the scanner for its alleged involvement in the murders of Dabholkar and Pansare, used the occasion to demand for a fair probe.
“In our opinion, in the murders of Dabholkar and Pansare the ‘fair investigation’ never took place. I request those with Communist ideologies not to pressure the investigators. Let them do their job,” Ramesh Shinde, national spokesperson of HJS said.
Dabholkar and Pansare probe held according to whims of victims’ families
Citing acquittals in the Malegaon case, Sanjiv Punalekar, a lawyer and the National Secretary of Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad said, “There is a false propaganda of saffron terrorism. So-called rationalists are quiet when hundreds of acres of temple land are swallowed.”
Alleging that Dabholkar had Naxal connections and differences between them may be the motive for his murder, Sanjiv claims that the angle was never explored by the investigating team.
“The investigations in both the cases were held according to the whims and fancies of the families of the victims,” said Sanjiv.
The Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad leader also hit out at the Congress-led Karnataka government for not forming SITs to probe the murder of BJP and RSS workers in the state.
“We welcome the formation of the SIT in Lankesh’s case. If this is an ideological murder, weren’t the BJP, RSS workers killed in the state also ideological murders?” he asked.