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Rane 'supporters' attack Marathi daily

india Updated: Jan 22, 2009 16:29 IST

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Around 15 persons on Thursday attacked the south Mumbai office of leading Marathi newspaper 'Navakal' after it published an editorial lampooning suspended Congress leader Narayan Rane.

Navakal's 75-year old editor Nilkanth Khadilkar said the attack was at the behest of Rane. "They were Rane's goons. Rane has gone wild after I wrote that editorial," Khadilkar said.

"He (Rane) sent 15 persons (to ransack the office). They came, abused staffers and broke glass panels. Police arrived later," Khadilkar said. "You (Rane) should come. Why do you send goons," he added.

Thursday's editorial which invited the backlash of alleged Rane men was about Rane's repeated announcements giving deadline to Congress high command to decide on his fate in the party, Khadilkar said.

"This is an attack on the freedom of press. Everyone has the right to criticise. He (Rane) is after all a goon. What else can he do. He may have crores of rupees but I am not going to seek compensation. I don't want any of that dirty money," he said.

Bharat Kadam, a senior journalist with 'Navakal', said the attackers arrived at the Girgaum office of the newspaper at around 12.15 pm, abusing staffers for 'writing against us'.

"They hurled paver blocks in the reception area and damaged glass panes," Kadam said.

A case has been registered against unidentified persons and investigation is on, police said. No one has been arrested so far, they said.