In a shocking expose, India Today has unmasked the true face of the Sanatan Sanstha. It is an extreme right wing Hindutva supremacist organization that has been in the news for its members’ involvement in a series of terror attacks as well as the murder of rationalists.
The investigative team of India Today spoke to and captured Mangesh Dinkar Nikam and Haribhau Krishna Divekar. Both of them were acquitted by the trial court ten years ago in relation to the bomb blast cases in Vashi and Thane. They confessed on camera of being directly involved in planting the bombs in the said incident. While Nikam confessed to planting the explosives in Vashi to scare people who were there to watch a Marathi play, ‘Amhi Pachpute’, Divekar confessed to possessing the explosives. According to them, the play depicted Hindu gods and goddesses in wrong way.
A trial court in 2011 had acquitted the Sanatan Sanstha members, who were accused of planting bombs outside theatres in Thane, Vashi and Panvel in 2008. But the news channel’s exposé revealed that the Hindutva organisation may have played a role in the attacks. Seven people were injured when a bomb went off in the parking lot of the theatre in Thane.
Mangesh Dinkar Nikam allegedly told the undercover reporters, whom he met at his home in Satara district, that he had planted the bomb, which disposal squads defused.
I was in Vashi; I planted it [the IED] and came out. That was my role. In the [Vashi] case in which we were involved, people were parodying our gods and goddesses [in the play]. So we tried to stop it, nothing else.India Today quoted Nikam.
Meanwhile, another ‘saadhak’ Haribhau Krishna Divekar revealed something even more sinister.
“After the blast the police came to my house to conduct a search. So I turned over all weapons and explosives I had to them. There were one or two revolvers, 23 gelatin sticks, 20 detonators and some digital meters.”Haribhau Krishna Divekar
However, interestingly the ATS that was investigating the case stated in its official documentation that nothing was recovered from Divekar’s house. This is why despite being implicated in the case, he too, like Nikam, was acquitted by the court… due to ‘lack of evidence.’
SANATAN SANSTHA’S TERROR ACTIVITIES
The terror organisation that claims of creating an army of 4 lakh followers to wage a religious war to establish a Hindu Rashtra, has been in several instances accused of terror activities. The Sanstha, which was established by Jayant Balaji Athavale, a trained Hypnotherapist in 1999, calls itself a “spiritual” organisation. This mask of spirituality was torn down in 2009 when the organisation was named in Madgaon blast in 2009; since then the organisation’s name has surfaced in relation to various other cases of bomb blasts and murders. The ongoing investigations by the CBI, CID, and SIT of Karnataka and Maharashtra in the political assassinations of Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, M. M. Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh has again brought the Sanstha into the limelight.
Following the resurfacing of its name, the demand to ban the Sanatan Sanstha has escalated. The question that whether banning the organisation is the solution is debatable. However, the million dollar question of why the founder and office bearers of the organisation have not been investigated yet still remains; C.L Patil, SHO of Goa Police, and Salim Sheikh, the ATS inspector speaking with the investigative team of India Today have stated on camera that the Sanstha receives a political patronage from a certain politician whose wife is a sadhak of the Sanstha and this in turn creates a pressure on the investigative agencies.
So, the mist has been cleared. Political patronage is the only reason why these terrorists are roaming freely and scholars are in jail after being tagged as Urban Naxalites. The string operation also exposes the corruption in the investigation agency as well. The laxity and ignorance showed by the agency is more than enough to get them under the scanner. The million-dollar question is, will these series of events curb the wings of other such “saffron terror” organizations?