Sunday, March 3, 2024

BJP workers attack journalist Nikhil Wagle’s car in Maharashtra’s Pune

A vehicle carrying journalist Nikhil Wagle, activist Vishwambhar Choudhary and human rights lawyer Asim Sarode was attacked in Pune by alleged Bharatiya Janata Party supporters on Friday. Videos of the attack have surfaced on social media.

Visuals showed the alleged BJP workers throwing ink on the car, mobbing the vehicle and vandalising it at Khandoji Baba Chowk. The attack damaged the vehicle’s windscreen and side panes. The car was attacked on the way to “Nirbhay Bano” event in Pune.

BJP had threatened to disrupt the public meeting.

The mob could be heard saying, “Drag Wagle out of the car.” Press bodies have condemned the attack and demanded for legal action against the perpetrators.

On the same day, Wagle was booked by the Pune Police for making allegedly defamatory remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior BJP leader LK Advani. The case was registered based on a complaint filed by BJP leader Sunil Deodhar, according to PTI.

The journalist was booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups), 500 (punishment for defamation) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief).

According to journalist Parth MN, in a span of three or four kilometres, BJP’s goons attacked the car five times.

Supriya Sule, a leader of the Sharad-Pawar-led faction of the Nationalist Congress Party, condemned the attack on Wagle, “a voice of truth and a beacon of journalism”.

“This is not just an assault on an individual but an attack on freedom of speech itself. The deteriorating law and order situation in Maharashtra under the BJP regime that is tacitly enabling such acts is alarming and warrants strictest accountability,” Sule wrote on social media.

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