Red alert in Goa after blast, police search Sanatan Saunstha office


Panaji: Goa has declared a red alert after explosives carried on a scooter by two men went off, killing one of them and critically injuring the other, in Margao town in southern part of the state. Officials have blamed a right-wing Hindu group for the incident.

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State Home Minister Ravi Naik said the scooter belonged to Nishad Bakhale, an alleged member of the Sanatan Saunstha, a right-wing Hindu group, headquartered in the temple town of Ramnathi in the Ponda region of Goa. Bakhale has been detained for questioning by the police.

Naik told reporters in Margao, some 35 km from here, that the police have searched the group’s headquarters after the low intensity blast Friday night.

Meanwhile, police said Malgondi Patil and Yogesh Naik, who were riding the Honda Eterno scooter, were members of the group.

Patil, however, succumbed to his injuries a few hours after the blast, while Naik was in a critical condition at the Goa Medical College, near Panaji.

The blast took place near the Grace Church in Margao, where some effigies of Narkasur, a mythical demon, were being burnt to celebrate the victory of good over evil as part of the Diwali festival.

Police superintendent Atmaram Deshpande said a red alert was declared after the blast and it would remain until the situation stabilises.