Government advertised in troubled Sanatan paper

Panaji : The Goa government could have partially footed the bill for the Diwali eve low intensity blast that was carried out by two members of the rightwing Hindu outfit Sanatan Sanstha (SS), an official said.

Menino Peres, director of the department of information and publicity (DIP) that controls state government advertising, said several advertisements had been released to the propaganda arm of the SS, a multilingual broadsheet named Sanatan Prabhat, over the years.

“We released advertisements to them like we issue ads to other papers too. We are not going out of our way doing it,” Peres told IANS.

Peres was unable to immediately mention the amount of money that was spent by the DIP on advertisements released to the SS annually.

When asked if the state government would stop releasing advertisements to the newspaper in view of the new found infamy gained by the SS, Peres said such a decision would have to be taken by the state government.

Two SS members were killed in Margao, 35 km from here, on Diwali eve when they were ferrying explosives, which accidentally exploded before they could reach the site where people had gathered for the festivities. Police also found and defused three other improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on the same night within a span of one hour.

Vishnu Wagh, advisor to the DIP, told reporters Thursday that the daily Sanatan Prabhat had the potential to “breed terrorists”.

Wagh also said that the newspaper had been abusing the liberties granted under the freedom of media for a long time now. “Dainik Sanatan Prabhat has abused freedom of press for long now. They have consistently derided the system of democracy in the country. Their literature can easily breed terrorists,” Wagh said.

“The literature published in the newspaper is socially divisive and acts like poison in society,” he added.

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