Don’t Drag Us Into Gauri Lankesh Murder Case: Sanatan Sanstha

The right wing body accused Maharashtra Police of delaying the trial in the murder cases of Dabholkar and Pansare.

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The Sanatan Sanstha, that has been accused of having links with the murders of rationalists MM Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare, has distanced itself from the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh.

Sanatan Sanstha should not be dragged into the case without any evidence, office bearers of the right wing organisation from Goa said, while addressing the media in Bengaluru, on Thursday, 21 September. The organisation demanded that a fair probe be conducted into the death of the activist-journalist.

The press briefing comes close on the heels of alleged similarities between the murder of Lankesh and the three rationalists.


The outfit claimed that contrary to media reports, a Sanstha ashram was not raided by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) tasked with the probe of Gauri Lankesh murder. However, some volunteers were contacted by the police seeking information about the organisation, they said.

Sanjiv Punalekar, legal adviser of the Sanatan Sanstha, said that they were ready to cooperate with the SIT if approached. “In fact, we want SIT to take our statements on the issue and probe them,” he said.

During the investigation of the murder of professor Kalburgi, the Karnataka Criminal Investigation Department (CID) had said that one the associates of Sanatan Sanstha, Rudra Patil, was a lead suspect in the case. Asked about his association with the Sanatan Santha, office bearers said that Patil was associated with the Sanstha as a volunteer.

The right wing body accused Maharashtra Police of delaying the trial in the murder cases of Dabholkar and Pansare.
Left: Sketch of one of the suspected killers of MM Kalburgi. Right: Rudra Patil. 
(Photo Credit: The Quint)

The office bearers also warned the Karnataka government against falling for the information provided by Maharashtra Police in the investigation, claiming that the investigating agencies in Maharashtra were conducting an unfair probe.

They alleged the Maharashtra police are delaying the trial, because they have no evidence against those they have arrested. In a written statement, the organisation said: “Chargesheets have been filed in both murder cases (Dabholkar and Pansare). Yet, the police are not conducting trials and they are taking adjournment citing reasons that the bullets are sent to the Scotland yard. It is curious to note that the police knew that such a test with Scotland yard is impossible as the treaty with UK does not permit such test”.

When quizzed as to why the Sanstha was sheltering the wife of Vinay Pawar, an absconding Sadhak for whom the CBI has announced a prize of Rs 5 lakh, Punalekar said: “We want him to face the law. But he is absconding fearing a targeted investigation. It is sad that our agencies have not given him the confidence”.

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