Sanatan Sanstha accuses SIT of framing it in Gauri Lankesh murder case
Bengaluru, Dec 4: Right-wing outfit Sanatan Sanstha on Tuesday accused the SIT probing the Gauri Lankesh murder case of "framing" it and distanced itself from the 18 people named as accused in connection with the crime.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) which has so far arrested 16 people with two still at large, had named an organised crime syndicate inspired by the Sanatan Sanstha in its additional charge sheet filed before a court here recently. Sanstha spokesperson Chetan Rajhans flayed the alleged attempt to "fix" the outfit and sought to know how the law enforcement agencies would react when a Jehadi or a Naxalite is caught.
"Attempts were made to fix us in the Malegaon (blast case) and we came out clean. This is Malegaon-2. If a group inspired by our book makes us answerable, then who should be accountable for 'Jihad' and Naxalism?" Rajhans said at a press conference here. The SIT had said in the charge sheet that members of this organisation (crime syndicate) targeted persons who they identified to be inimical to their ideology and belief. "The members strictly followed the guidelines and principles mentioned in the 'Kshatra Dharma Sadhana', a book published by the Sanatan Sanstha," the SIT said.
Rajhans said the book was published 23 years ago and was never brought out in the last 10 years for being unpopular. He charged that the SIT still wanted to frame the organisation based on the statement by the accused persons (about being inspired by it). Stating that the accused named in the case were never associated with Sanstha, Rajhans said, "We never believed in violence as our primary objective is Sadhana (spiritual practises) on the lines of Sanstha's philosophy." Hindu Janjagruti Smriti spokesperson Ramesh Shinde conceded that Amol Kale, an alleged mastermind, was associated with the organisation, but had left it 10 years ago and had no more links with the outfit.
Shinde also alleged that the investigation into the killing of another rationalist Narendra Dabholkar was taking place in a "shoddy" manner. Advocate N P Amruthesh, who fights cases for various Hindu organisations, said the SIT had failed to provide a copy of the charge sheet till now. He vowed that he would fight for innocent Hindus "fixed on flimsy charges".
Known for her left-leaning and strong anti-Hindutva views, Lankesh was shot dead in front of her house here on September 5 last year, triggering a national outrage and widespread condemnation.