The controversial right wing organisation Sanatan Sanstha, whose active member Samir Gaikwad has been arrested for alleged involvement in the murder of the rationalist Govind Pansare, on Monday rubbished an allegation that its "seekers' ("sadhaks") can kill through hypnotism.
Prof Shyam Manav, president of 'All India Andha-shraddha Nirmulan Samiti' and a former colleague of the slain anti-superstition activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar, had reportedly alleged that Sanatan Sanstha's seekers can kill a person by using hypnotism as a weapon.
"We strongly condemn the allegation levelled by Shyam Manav... Hypnotism does not possess the power to make a person do violent act," said the spokesperson of the Sanstha, Abhay Vartak, at a press conference in Mumbai.
Manav had "anti-Hindu" agenda and should tender public apology for misleading the society, he said.
However, Vartak admitted that his outfit gave training in self defence, sometimes with toy guns and replicas of rifles. Sanjeev Punalekar, national Secretary of 'Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad', who also addressed the conference, said, "Manav has forgotten that he is committing an offence by spreading superstitious messages about hypnotism."
If hypnotism could be used in this way, terrorist organisations and "enemy countries like Pakistan and China" would not have bothered to maintain huge armies and would have used hypnotism instead, he said.
Sanatan Sanstha has already denied any role in Pansare's murder, and also claimed that Gaikwad is innocent.