Maharashtra news: Journalist Nikhil Wagle’s car attacked by BJP workers in Pune, opposition calls it ‘goonda raj’

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Journalist Nikhil Wagle’s car was attacked on Friday allegedly by BJP workers in Pune while he was travelling to attend an event, PTI news agency reported. The saffron party workers were up in arms over Wagle’s remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and LK Advani after the ruling party patriarch was awarded the Bharat Ratna.

A Deccan police station official said BJP workers threw ink on the car in which Wagle and two others, Aseem Sarode, and Vishwambhar Choudhary, were travelling under police protection to the ‘Nirbhay Bano’ event organised by Rashtra Seva Dal in Singhad Road area here.

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Television visuals showed BJP workers mobbing the car at Khandoji Baba Chowk and vandalising it, resulting in the vehicle’s windscreen and side panes getting damaged.

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Wagle managed to reach the venue of the event under police protection.

Addressing the ‘Nirbhay Bano’ event, Wagle said, “I forgive all those who attacked me. I have been attacked six times earlier and this was the seventh.”

Workers from the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena and the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi were engaged in a standoff outside the Rashtra Seva Dal premises earlier, with protesters saying they would now allow Wagle to speak at the event.

Earlier in the day, a case was registered here against Wagle for allegedly making offensive remarks against the PM Modi and Advani.

“Nikhil Wagle has been booked under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 500 (defamation) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Vishrambaug police station. We are probing the matter further,” the official said.

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Senior BJP leader Sunil Deodhar had filed a complaint against the 64-year-old journalist at the Vishrambaug police station.

The senior scribe made the alleged defamatory remarks on social media platform X against Modi and Advani after the Centre announced that the latter would be conferred with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour.

Pune BJP had also requested the police to deny permission to the ‘Nirbhay Bano’ event.

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Pune city Shiv Sena president Pramod Bhangire said they were not opposing the event but only the participation of Wagle.

“We condemn Wagle’s remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP veteran L K Advani. By making such remarks in his social media posts, he has created a rift between communities,” Bhangire said.

Opposition parties hit out at the Maharashtra government over the attack on Wagle’s car.

Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) MP Sanjay Raut said, “Brazen Bid to murder democracy by BJP in Pune”.

Rau tsaid that the BJP workers threw eggs and ink on Wagle’s car.

 

“Senior journalist Nikhil Wagle’s car smashed, ink, eggs thrown at his car.. Brazen Bid to murder democracy by BJP in Pune… MVA will not be deterred, Shame on you Devendra Fadnavis, you are ordering your cadre to harm and injure hapless daughters of Maharashtra…Maharashtra will not forgive you,” Sanjay Raut wrote on social media platform X.

Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi also reacted to the Pune incident. “Less than 24 hours since the untimely and unfortunate killing of our former corporator, Abhishek Ghosalkar and now we have this attack on activists who are critical of the BJP. Goondagardi under the gundaraj,” Priyanka Chaturvedi wrote on X.

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