Porvorim: The Goa government has banned the entry of hardline Hindutva outfit Sri Ram Sene from the state, chief minister Manohar Parrikar announced on the floor of the House yesterday.
“I had asked police to prepare a report and it was sent to the collector to ban the entry of Sri Ram Sene in the state. We have banned Sri Ram Sene,” Parrikar said.
Sri Ram Sene’s controversial leader, Pramod Muthalik had announced his plans to setup a unit of his organisation in Goa last year, though he hadn’t revealed a timeline for its operation.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the All-India Hindu Convention, Muthalik had said that “we had to postpone the launch of the organisation in Goa due to various reasons including the just concluded assembly elections in Karnataka.” He had said that his Belgaum unit head was in touch with around 200 local youth in the state for the cause.
Responding to a question posed by Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai on whether the government had banned the group following opposition demands, Parrikar said Sri Ram Sene has been banned because of its plans to enter the state.
Describing the order banning Sri Ram Sene in Goa as ‘toothless’, Rajya Sabha MP and AICC Secretary Shantaram Naik told reporters that, “the ban order imposed by the Goa Government on Sri Ram Sene is without teeth, unless the order is followed by a regular order by the Central Government under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.”
Founded in the 1960s, the ring wing Hindu nationalist group came to notoriety in 2009, when its members barged into a pub and attacked young women, accusing them of “indecent behaviour” and “an insult to Hindu culture and tradition”.
The attack which garnered wide spread condemnation, brought Sri Ram Sene to the forthwith of national and international attention, with even RSS favouring a ban on the organisation.
Since then, the group has been involved in a spate of violent speeches and actions especially targeted against women, and the minority Muslim and Christian communities.
In 2012, with a clear intention to flare up communal tensions between different communities, its members had raised Pakistan’s national flag on a government building in Sindgi, near Bijapur, Karnataka and then accused the Muslim community for the mischief. The incident lead to angry protests by Hindu organisations and the stoning of a mosque. Six members of the group were later arrested for “creating communal disharmony.”
Meanwhile, Sri Ram Sene (SRS) workers burnt effigies of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar today and staged protests in parts of Karnataka. They said that the group will defy the ban, and added that Muthalik himself would be present for the launch of the unit in Goa.