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Goa weighing ban on Sanatan, Maharashtra ATS to help probe

October 19, 2009 20:45 IST

The Goa government said on Monday that it is contemplating a ban on the Sanatan Sanstha for its alleged involvement in the Diwali-eve blast in Panaji even as the Hindu right-wing organisation denied of any role in the explosion that left one dead and another critically wounded.

"We are examining whether the outfit can be banned. There is no formal decision on the issue," Advocate General Subodh Kantak said. The law department is examining whether the Sanstha can be banned centrally, or a state-specific ban can be imposed, he said. Meanwhile, police said Yogesh Naik, who was earlier reported to be dead, was in fact fighting for his life in a hospital. Earlier, Goa Home Minister Ravi Naik said the ban can be imposed if the investigation confirms the outfit's involvement in the blast. "We will take the decision only after the investigation is over," he said.

As the Sanstha's role in the blast came under the police scanner, its spokesman Abhay Vartak said an attempt was being made to falsely implicate the organisation. "Home Minister Ravi Naik is trying to frame our organisation because it had taken a firm stand on the state government's failure in preventing desecration of temples and idols in the state," Vartak told reporters at Panvel near Mumbai.

A team of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad is still in Goa to assist their counterparts in that state in the investigation in the bomb blast on Diwali eve which left one dead, a senior police official said."The day when the blast took place Goa, our team went to the spot and inspected the area. We are providing and will continue to provide required assistance in terms of
investigation to our counterparts in the state. Our team is still there," Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad chief K P Raghuvanshi told PTI.
    
"We have gathered information pertaining to the blast so that we could update ourselves," he said.
    
A powerful blast had ripped through a busy street near Grace Church in Goa's Margao city when explosives kept in a
scooter went off at around 9.30 PM on October 16, leaving one dead and another seriously injured.Preliminary probe indicated alleged involvement of Hindu right wing organisation Sanatan Sanstha in the blast, besides its alleged links with Malegaon blast case prime accused Sadhvi Pragnya Singh Thakur.
    
Even we had come across similar blasts in Maharashtra earlier, Raghuvanshi said, adding that it was our practice that whenever any explosion takes place anywhere in India, our squad goes there to accumulate blast related details.      "Malgonda Patil, who died in the Margao explosion, hailed from Sangli district of the state," he said. Patil was a member of Sanatan and owned the scooter used in the blast.

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