PUNE : A team of Pune city police on Wednesday detained a sadhak (disciple) of the right-wing Hindu organisation Sanatan Sanstha's in Goa in connection with the murder of eminent anti-superstition activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar.
The sadhak has been identified as Sandeep Shinde (31), who hails from Pune and lived in Goa for the last four years. In 2009, Shinde was questioned in Margao blast of Goa.
“He has been picked up on suspicion and not arrested,” said Sanjeev Kumar Singhal, Joint Commissioner of Police (law and order).
Sanatan Sanstha spokesperson Abhay Vartak told Sakal Times that Shinde is a full-time sadhak at the Sanstha. “Shinde lived at Sanstha's Ramnathi Ashram in Ponda, Goa. He was among the 70 persons from our organisation who were earlier questioned by the police,” he added.
A seven-member team led by assistant police inspector Geeta Bagwade from detection branch of Faraskhana police station, Pune city police, reached the Ashram at 4.30 pm and after questioning the disciples fro about an hour, Shinde was taken to Ponda police station. After station diary entry, Shinde was taken into custody and being brought to Pune. The team is expected to reach Pune late night.
Sanatan Sanstha managing trustee and Ramnathi Ashram head, Virendra Marathe, said, “The action by Pune police is due to political pressure. Sanatan Sanstha is not involved in murder of Dr Dabholkar.”
Ramnathi Ashram is the headquarters of Sanatan Sanstha, located about 30 km from Panji in North Goa's Ponda. Earlier, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had chargesheeted some members of the Sanatan Sanstha for carrying out blasts in Goa as well as several parts of Maharashtra over the last few years.