Taking on its ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Shiv Sena on Thursday said that it had protested the term “Hindu terrorism” while in the opposition but it was a “surprise” that in the government, it is branding people as “Hindu terrorists” and working towards finishing them off.
The Sena demanded that the BJP, which is in power at the Centre and in Maharashtra, should clarify its stand on the term “Hindu terrorism”. The Congress party coined the term Hindu terrorism and the BJP had created an uproar in the Parliament and had hit the streets, an editorial in the party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said.
“Now there is BJP government at the Centre and in Maharashtra, still ‘Hindu terrorism’ is being spoken about. The government should clarify on this,” it said. “The government has decided that everybody is a Hindu terrorist and they should be finished… Hindus in their own Hindustan and more importantly in the rule of Modi-Fadnavis, are being labelled terrorists… this is a surprise,” said the editorial, referring to prime minister Narendra Modi and Maharastra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad and the Central Bureau of Investigation had recently arrested six alleged sympathisers of Hindu right-wing group Sanatan Sanstha and claimed they were involved in the murders of rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar, MM Kalburgi, activist Govind Pansare and journalist Gauri Lankesh. Vaibhav Raut, Sudhanva Ghondalekar, Sharad Kalaskar, Shrikant Pangarkar, Avinash Pawar and Santosh Andhure were arrested after the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the Karnataka police arrested a key accused in the Lankesh murder, and later shared information with the other agencies. The Sena questioned the ongoing probe in the murders, asking if all the killings had a “common link”.
“Everyone of them was an independent thinker and had communist or socialist ideology. Each of the murders can be an independent conspiracy,” it said. Noting that law enforcement agencies had earlier arrested some people in connection with Pansare and Dhabolkar cases, it asked:
“So who are these who have been arrested now?” The editorial said that the killers in the four cases should be “given a tough sentence” but sought that the government should not concoct a “theory to prove Hindus as terrorists”.