Goa Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders like Manohar Parrikar have expressed support for the Sanatan Sanstha, the Hindu outfit blamed for the pre-Diwali blasts that killed two people said on Wednesday. Virendra Marathe, managing trustee of the Sanstha, named BJP state president Shripad Naik, leader of opposition Parrikar and party legislator Dayanand Mandrekar as politicians who stood by them in the aftermath of the blasts in Margao, 35 km from here.
Police say the blasts were engineered and executed by members of the Sanstha. “The BJP MLAs supported us. They advised us to sue the media for defamation, for slandering the Sansthan. Dayanand Mandrekar, Parrikar and Shripad Naik supported us,” Marathe said at a press conference in Panaji. Asked about Goa Transport Minister Sudhin Dhavalikar’s alleged links with the Sanstha, Marathe denied that the minister funded its activities in Goa.
However, he said the minister’s wife Jyoti Dhavalikar handled the outfit’s accounts. “Jyoti, who is a Sanstha member, has a financial background. She used to work in the banking sector. Her experience is helping us,” he said.
Marathe said the Sanstha had chosen Goa as a national headquarters because the region was sacred. “Even the temples here have a more pavitra (pure) ambience than the ones in Maharashtra – that’s because Goa is a punya bhoomi,” Marathe said.
Two people, Malgunda Patil and his accomplice Yogesh Naik, both members of the Sanatan Sanstha, died when improvised explosive devices (IEDs) they were through a crowded area exploded in Margao Oct 16. Three other IEDs, two of which were found unexploded near the blast site and the other about 30 km away near Vasco, did not go off. Police have interrogated more than 100 members of the Sanstha and raided the ashram near Ponda, 30 km from here, three times since the blast.