Gauri Lankesh: Hindu Groups Are Soft Targets, Says Sanatan Sanstha
Gauri Lankesh was shot in cold blood on 5 September 2017.
Following the arrest of some of their men in connection with the murder of veteran journalist Gauri Lankesh, the Hindu outfit Sanatan Sanstha on Tuesday, 5 June, released a press note saying that a “conspiracy” was hatched to “implicate devout Hindus” by looking at their organisation and Hindu Janajagruti Samiti as "soft targets".
A Times Now report quotes the outfit’s press note, which claims that the allegations were based on a “political conspiracy” which was taken up after the Karnataka Assembly elections, when it was seen that the BJP was withdrawing its rule and the Congress-JD(S) alliance was coming to power.
“The doubt is created whether the SIT is investigating (the murder) on the lines of ideology promoted by the Government which is going to assume power shortly,” the press-statement, as reported by Times Now, stated.
It added that ahead of the Karnataka elections, the then Siddaramaiah-led Congress government had arrested Hindu Yuva Sene KT Naveen Kumar and three others under "false charges of selling arms".
However, it added that these activists had reportedly approached the media later and said that Kumar had no connection with the killing, and that the police had recorded their statements “under duress by assaulting them physically”, the report adds.
It also said that even though the activists, who were “remotely connected with Sanatan Sanstha and Hindu Janajagruti Samiti a few years back”, had been arrested for Lankesh’s murder and a conspiracy to kill KS Bhagawan, an atheist writer, there was no evidence to prove the charges.
On this note, the press note said that the proceedings leading up to the arrest of some of the outfit’s members in connection with Lankesh’s murder, was a part of a greater conspiracy by authorities to implicate devout Hindus.
To explain this point further, Times Now reports, it said that while nearly 23 devout Hindu activists engaged in the Hindutva mission were “inhumanly killed” in the state, they had made no effort to carry out a similar kind of investigation into the same.
Although many activists of ‘Popular Front of India (PFI)’ were arrested in the cases of killings of devout Hindus, nobody accused PFI of being guilty. However, Sanatan Sanstha and Hindu Janajagruti Samiti are made soft targets and being persecuted needlessly despite their innocence.Sanatan Sanstha, in a pree note, reported by Times Now
The press note finished by saying that the arrests of the outfit’s members, and the charges following thereof, were part of an attempt of the authorities to “finish devout Hindu organisations and their activists in the name of 'secularism',” the report adds.
Earlier on 31 May, the police had arrested four men affiliated with the Sanatan Sanstha and its contemporary Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS), in connection with the murder of Lankesh, reports The Indian Express.
These men were identified as Sujeet Kumar, 37, from Udupi in Karnataka; Amol Kale 37, from Pune; Amit Degwekar, 38, from Ponda in Goa; and Manohar Edave, 28, from Vijayapura in Karnataka.
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