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Goa blast, ‘spiritual practice’
Published on 18 Oct. 2009 10:42 PM IST
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Sanatan Sanstha, a right wing Hindu organization whose members police allege carried out a blast which killed two people in Goa Friday night, claims to “spread the science of spirituality and guide seekers in their spiritual practice”, the group’s website says. Two activists of the group were killed in Margao town when explosives being ferried in their scooter went off in a traffic jam, police said. Both men riding the scooter, Malgondi Patil and Yogesh Naik, were badly injured and collapsed. Patil died in a hospital at midnight and Naik succumbed to his injuries at 9.30 a.m. Saturday. Sanatan Sanstha’s website - - claims that the organization was founded in 1990 by Jayant Balaji Athavale, a Britain-educated hypnotherapist. The founder’s profile on the website said that “His Highness Athavale” spent eight years in Britain studying hypnotherapy and returned to India in 1978 to start his own practice. “After practicing as a hypnotherapist for 20 years in India, he (Athavale) realized that nearly 30 percent of his patients did not recover with the usual treatment regimens and that some of these patients recovered after having gone on a pilgrimage or having followed the advice of a saint,” the website says, adding that the “main aim of the organization is to present spirituality in a scientific language for the curious and to guide seekers”. According to the website, Sanatan Sanstha has branches all over the world including countries like Australia, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Britain and the US. Last year, Sanatan Sanstha members were arrested in Mumbai for planting improvised explosives in cinema halls in Thane, Vashi and Panvel. The group also runs a multi-lingual newspaper named Sanatan Prabhat, whose motto reads “for the annihilation of evildoers”. ATS searches Sanatan office Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) sleuths on Sunday conducted searches at an office here run by Sanatan Sanstha. The ATS personnel, who arrived here today, conducted searches along with state police at the office of the Sansthan, linked to 2008 Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, in Nesai near Margao town. The ATS personnel will help the police ascertain whether there are links between Margao blasts and explosions that occurred in Maharashtra in 2008, police said. Officials of the Sanstha, who were detained and interrogated yesterday, were again called today for questioning. Five people, including ashram’s manager Virendra Marathe and Prithviraj Hazare, editor of Sanstha’s mouthpiece ‘Sanatan Prabhat’, were detained yesterday. “They were interrogated for more than 10 hours on Saturday at Margao police station,” a senior police official stated. Raids were also conducted in Sanstha’s ashram at Ramnathi village, near temple town of Ponda yesterday. Goa police had defused three bombs at the site after the blast on diwali eve, reported ZeeNews. Police had confirmed that IED was used in the blast.

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