Was Margao blast Goa`s brush with Hindutva terrorism?

Last Updated: Sunday, October 18, 2009 - 12:24

Panaji: Was the Margao blast Goa`s brush
with Hindutva terrorism or it was just an act of two
individuals, who coincidently had connection with the Hindu
Right wing organisation? On record, Sanatan Saunstha has
distanced itself from blast in the Margao town on the eve of
Diwali festival.

But the police investigations have revealed that whatever
amount of defence presented by the organisation, the Ashram at
Ramnathi, a hub of Saunstha`s activities, cannot remain aloof
from the blasts.

"We have found certain objectionable material during the
raid at Ashram. I can`t divulge anything right now but we have
seized certain things," Superintendent of Police (PRO) Atmaram
Deshpande told reporters on Saturday.

Deshpande`s veiled information came hours after a team of
police led by North Goa Superintendent of Police Bosco George
raided Sanatan`s palatial Ashram at Ramnathi village near
temple town of Ponda, 20 km away from Panaji.

Police sources confirmed that some gadgets, similar to
that confiscated from the blast site, were found in the
ashram, which at the time of the raid housed 161 people.

A blast in Goa`s commercial capital town of Margao had
rocked the state on the eve of Diwali. While two persons,
owing allegiance to Sanatan Saunstha, were killed in the
blast, police had defused three bombs at different parts of
the state.

The 19-year-old Saunstha, which has spread its tentacles
across the state, was under scanner after the blasts.

"We condemn the act. It is the unfortunate incident and
we are cooperating with the police in their investigations,"
the press release issued by Saunstha read.

The press note, which appeals the media not to jump to
the gun while probe is on, does not speak anything about the
two suspects, who died in the explosion.

"You cannot hold two members responsible in isolation if
they are part of organisation`s doctrine," Deshpande said.

Police, however, were quick enough to add that not all
the members present in the ashram might know about the bombs.

"There must be a core group which was working within," the PRO

This is not the first time that Sanatan has a brush with
the activities related to terrorism.

In 2008, Anti terrorism squad of Maharashtra police had
arrested six accused for the involvement in planting Intensive
Explosive device (IED) at the auditoriums in Thane, Vashi and
a movie theatre in Panvel.

The hand of Sanatan Saunstha along with its like-minded
organization `Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS)` was suspected in

In Goa`s case, HJS has completely distanced itself from
the blasts. "If media is linking HJS to blasts than they
should resist themselves from spreading false news," HJS` Goa
convenor Jayesh Thali told a news agency.

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First Published: Sunday, October 18, 2009 - 12:24

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