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Abhay Vartak

 A fringe Hindu group suspected in the deaths of Indian secularists

Abhay Vartak aspires to live in a divine kingdom in which everyone is truthful and virtuous, leaving no room for violence or crime. Justice would be dispensed by a benevolent king, as it was during the rule of the Hindu god Ram, according to mythological Hindu texts. Vartak, who holds a bachelor’s degree in science, is the spokesman of Sanatan Sanstha, a radical Hindu organization in India that aims to establish the kingdom by 2023… The Hindu fringe group, with its cult-like beliefs and behaviors, has a following in three states in southwestern India. It has emerged as the prime suspect behind the murders of three prominent secular thinkers in recent years. Indian authorities in June arrested a Sanatan member in connection with the 2013 assassination of activist Narendra Dabholkar. In September, another Sanatan member was arrested for the 2015 killing of author and politician Govind Pansare, 81… Established as a charitable trust in 1990 by hypnotherapist Jayant Athavle, Sanatan is based in the coastal state of Goa and maintains strict secrecy around the ashrams it operates.” (Los Angeles Times, 08/07/16) [IT 8.1]