Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Mumbai: Deceased HT journalist faced harassment from resident editor, reveals press club investigation

The Mumbai Press Club’s investigation reveals that Satish Nandgaonkar, a journalist with Hindustan Times who passed away on 28th February due to cardiac arrest, experienced significant stress due to bullying and insults inflicted upon him by the HT Mumbai Editor.

The findings have been forwarded to HT’s chairperson, Shobana Bhartiya, as well as to the Editors Guild for further action.

The investigation report also demanded that a Code of Newsroom Conduct for Editors be established without delay.

The Mumbai Press Club commissioned an independent investigation after Anjali Ambekar, the wife of Nandgaonkar filed a complaint to HT Media requesting an investigation into her husband’s death, on March 10.

Ambekar has highlighted numerous instances of abuse by the HT Mumbai Editor and has referenced emails and WhatsApp messages as prima facie evidence.

“After his untimely death, I made it point to go through his Whatsapp chats and his emails and was horrified to note that he faced constant harassment at HT at the hands of Mumbai resident editor Meenal Baghel. I have been told that unable to cope with the harassment they faced at the hands of Meenal Bahgel, a few journalists resigned from the newspaper. Now I hear that one person has resigned from the newspaper after Satish’s death because of her, for the same reasons that had made my husband feel humiliated,” she wrote in an open letter.

In the letter, she requested to depute a team to investigate the circumstances leading to Satish’s death. She has also asked to collect the testimonies of all his colleagues who were in office on the days preceding his death, or those who worked with him.

“If the inquiry committee finds anyone guilty, please take the strictest action against the person found guilty. Please announce adequate compensation for my family. To come out with comprehensive guidelines to put a stop harassment to journalists at the workplace,” she added.

Satish Nandgaonkar, Thane-Navi Mumbai bureau chief for the Mumbai edition of The Hindustan Times, died of a heart attack on the afternoon of February 28, before he could be rushed to the nearby Global Hospital.


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