A Hindu nationalist Sanjeev Punalekar, who is an advocate by profession, is a well-known Criminal lawyer, popularly known to be the saviour for all the accused associated with the Sanatan Sanstha. He is also a social worker for various Hindutva organisations and advocates bringing amendments in the Constitution to make India a Hindu Rashtra. In an interview with Afternoon Voice correspondent Mohit Soman, the national secretary of Hindu Vidhinya Parishad shared his views about the political gimmicks of the government and how people fall prey to them.
Why do you think that only Sanatan Sanstha along with Hindu Janajagruti Samiti is being targeted by the CBI and ATS for the assassination of Dabholkar, Pansare, Kalburgi, and Gauri Lankesh?
In the Thane-Vashi Blast case, there was a specific observation in the judgement that the Sanatan Sanstha was no way involved. There were strictures against the ATS for concocting evidence. Lastly, two out of six accused persons were convicted only under the Explosive Substance Act and other four accused were acquitted. The two persons were released on bail and their appeal is pending.
There is an official website of the Courts in India wherein, all criminal cases at District and Magistrate Court (including present and past) can be checked. No single case (past or present) shows Sanatan Sanstha as accused. Therefore, it can never be said that Sanatan is involved in any illegal or criminal activity.
What is your purpose behind providing legal aid to the Hindu nationalists?
Firstly, the innocents should not be sent to gallows. Secondly, even if somebody is guilty, he is entitled to get assistance. A person is deemed innocent till proved guilty. If in any event he is proved guilty, people should know the object of the crime. Murder is an offence and must be punished. However, when a rapist belonging to, say, the Muslim community, is lynched for a rape, you cannot call it a “communal lynching”. Same applies to Dabholkar murder and people must know the truth. Nobody can glorify a murderer. At the same time, every murdered person’s relatives cannot dictate the motive behind his murder and glorify the deceased by creating a false history. Many are trying to escalate propaganda in a false hope that once Sanatan is banned they would go scot-free.
What do you think were NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad’s intentions behind his demand for your arrest?
He is the man who glorified Ishrat Jehan. He never demanded the arrest of the persons responsible for Azad Maidan riots. Therefore, commenting on his remarks would be to give undue importance to him. It is necessary to investigate who is his “mastermind” and why is he shy to talk against organisations like the Popular Front of India.
Why do you think the names of Sachin Andure and Sharad Kalaskar have been dragged into the murder case of Dhabholkar while these two names were not included in the previous CBI chargesheet?
CBI seems to be in a hurry to “please” the High Court by sending some innocent youth to gallows since the earlier bluff with regard to Sarang and Vinay is exposed. They are trying to wriggle out of the mess created by them for the past three years. Please recollect the manner in which they fooled and misled the High Court about approaching Scotland Yard for forensic report.
How is Sanatan involved in Dabholkar, Pansare, and Lankesh murder cases?
Hundreds of families including women, children, infants, and senior citizens reside in Sanatan Ashrams. I can never imagine that Sanatan can be involved in any criminal act, leave alone any murder.
After Goa, Madgaon, Malegaon bomb blasts, every political party wants to ban Sanatan. What would you like to comment on it?
Congress-NCP-CPI-CPM-MIM is a nexus. They do vote-bank politics for a particular community. Each of these parties also demands a ban on RSS. None of them demanded a ban on the Raza Academy. These parties are themselves the supporters of terrorist organisations working in the Kashmir valley. Look into the statistics about the persons who were activists of Popular Front of India (PFI) and were involved in terror acts. None of these political parties demanded a ban on PFI. Why take them seriously?
Once you said that there is nothing against the Constitution in demanding a Hindu nation as it is our birthright. Since our Constitution supports all the religions, don’t you think your statement is against the Constitution? Why do you feel that India should become a Hindu Rashtra?
India’s tradition is Hinduism. Making India a Hindu Nation is possible by adopting constitutional means. If Marxists can propagate “Proletarian Revolution” and this is seen by the Supreme Court as merely a ‘dissent’, why can’t we demand “Hindu Revolution” and express our “dissent to Ambedkar”?
It is alleged that the arrest of five activists and their connection to Urban Naxalism is a divert tactic to safeguard Sanatan?
This question must be asked to Fadnavis as his government that has affected the arrests. Everybody amongst the liberals and rationalists is trying to search the “mastermind” behind “Hindu terrorists”. Everyone close to RSS now wants to search the mastermind behind “Urban Naxalism”. I, as an individual and Secretary of my organisation, would be too happy if the “mastermind” behind “irrigation scam” is searched by Fadnavis and produced before the Magistrate in a “burkha”. I am unable to know as to why the police who can raid Hyderabad and Delhi cannot reach Baramati to catch this mastermind. If Fadnavis does this, he would win the hearts of the working class of Maharashtra (farmers, workers, Dalits etc.) who are victims of the irrigation mafia from Baramati. I am not here to fall prey to political gimmicks of Fadnavis and to rejoice arrest of Varavara Rao whom I personally adore and respect. Even though Prashant Bhushan too speaks against Sanatan Sanstha, I will be the last person to speak ill about Prashant Bhushan as I respect him as a true warrior. (I cannot extend this respect to persons like Dabholkar or Pansare, I frankly admit). Fadnavis has to fight his own political battle. I feel that rather than arresting Varavara Rao, the true mastermind of “Elgar” and “Koregaon Bhima” which resides in Baramati should have been arrested and jail which Fadnavis is unable to do due to his political compulsions.
Which cases fascinate you more to work upon – Cooperative, corruption or criminal cases?
It is unfortunate that my organisation, “Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad”, often comes into the limelight only with reference to “criminal cases” relating to the so-called Hindu activists. We have filed several complaints against corrupt officials and also filed petitions to expose the corruption of the past governments and the present government. Our work in fighting corruption is much more voluminous and I am afraid, this is probably the cause of enraging Fadnavis against us.