Goa government gone soft on Sanatan Sanstha: Writer

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Panaji, Aug 2: Goa-based Sahitya Akademi award-winning writer Damodar Mauzo, who was last week given police security following death threats by alleged killers of Bengaluru-based writer Gauri Lankesh, on Wednesday said the state government has gone soft on the Sanatan Sanstha, headquartered in the coastal state.

“Why has this happened today? When a bomb blast happened in 2009, the government went soft on the accused. If the government had remained firm, things would not have come to this pass,” he said.

Eight members of the Sanstha were accused of plotting an IED blast in Margao town in South Goa in 2009, but six were acquitted. Two others died while ferrying the bomb towards a crowded Diwali function.

The Sanstha has said it did not have a role in the blast. A Congress-led coalition government was in power when the blast took place.

Mauzo was speaking at a solidarity meeting convened in the state capital to condemn the death threat to him. The writer won the Sahitya Akademi award in 1983 for his novel ‘Karmelin’.

Praising India’s diversity, Mauzo said that in the name of evicting Rohingyas, the National Register of Citizens was being used to de-list native Indians.

“Do you know what is happening in Assam? In the name of evicting Rohingyas, they have prepared a National Register of Citizens. Please go and see whose names are on it. Please understand the agenda behind it and the thought behind… it is betrayal of society,” Mauzo said, calling the controversial NRC an “unconstitutional move”.

In 2016, then Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar had said that the Goa government would consult the Maharashtra Home Department, which was probing the death of leftist leader Govind Pansare, before deciding on a ban on the Sanstha.

Image result for writer Damodar MauzoSamir Gaikwad, a member of the Sanstha was arrested in 2016, for Pansare’s murder, even as Rudra Patil, another member of the organisation, also linked to the same crime, is absconding.

Responding to the statement made by Mauzo and other comments by speakers at the event organised by the Goa unit of the ‘Dakshinayan Abhiyan, the Sanatan Sansta in a press statement issued late on Wednesday said, that the meeting was a “clear-cut show of anti-Hindu attitude” and that those accusing the organisation of a hand in the Margao blast of 2009 had no faith in the judiciary.

“Those who are putting allegations of Margao explosion on Sanatan Sanstha seem to have no trust in judicial system or Constitution. During Congress rule, six seekers of Sanatan Sanstha were proved innocent and were acquitted by the court from the case,” the statement said, adding that there is not a “single case registered against Sanatan Sanstha; neither has it been proved guilty in any of the cases”.