Car carrying Nikhil Wagle attacked for ‘offensive’ remarks on PM Modi, LK Advani - Hindustan Times
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Car carrying journalist Nikhil Wagle attacked for ‘offensive’ remarks on PM Modi, LK Advani

ByAbhay Khairnar
Feb 10, 2024 05:36 AM IST

They were protesting his remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and LK Advani after the ruling party patriarch was awarded the Bharat Ratna

Despite police bandobast, the vehicle in which journalist Nikhil Wagle was travelling, was attacked at Khandoji Baba Chowk on Friday. Wagle was escorted to Rasta Seva Dal’s office, where he was scheduled to give a speech, with the help of the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supporters and their alliance partners.

Meanwhile, BJP office-bearers, and supporters of Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde faction) and Ajit Pawar’s NCP had gathered in large numbers at the programme venue to condemn Wagle statement. (HT PHOTO)
Meanwhile, BJP office-bearers, and supporters of Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde faction) and Ajit Pawar’s NCP had gathered in large numbers at the programme venue to condemn Wagle statement. (HT PHOTO)

They were protesting his remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and LK Advani after the ruling party patriarch was awarded the Bharat Ratna.

Wagle, actor Amol Palekar and lawyer Aseem Sarode were to speak at “Nirbhay Bano” public meet, organised by Rasta Seva Dal and other organisations, at Sane Guruji Smarak.

Wagle said, “Police permission was taken for the programme where I was to speak. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders had threatened me openly and said that they will oppose the event. The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) supporters ensured my safety.”

Meanwhile, BJP office-bearers, and supporters of Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde faction) and Ajit Pawar’s NCP had gathered in large numbers at the programme venue to condemn Wagle statement.

A first information report (FIR) was registered at Pune against Wagle for allegedly making offensive remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP leader LK Advani after it was announced that the latter would be conferred with India’s highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna, police said on Friday.

According to the Deccan police, some people climbed on top of the four wheeler, as they blocked him from reaching the venue. Some threw ink on the vehicle in which Wagle and two others, Aseem Sarode and Vishwambhar Choudhary, were travelling under police protection to the event. Television visuals showed protestors mobbing the vehicle and vandalising it, resulting in the vehicle’s windscreen and side panes getting damaged.

RSS leader Sunil Deodhar had filed a police complaint against Wagle for making comments against Advani and Modi.

While BJP city unit president Dheeraj Ghate had warned that they would disrupt Wagle’s programme; Congress, NCP Sharadchandra Pawar, AAP, Vanchit Vikas Agadi and other party leaders supported the public meet.

MLA Rohit Pawar, Congress city unit president Arvind Shinde and NCP Sharadchandra Pawar party’s Prashant Jagtap were present at the programme.

Wagle said, “The police officials said that they will question me on Monday regarding the case filed for my comments.”

“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 the Vishrambaug police station,” a senior officer had said.

The BJP’s threat came in the wake of Wagle’s alleged post after Bharat Ratna’s announcement to Advani referring to him and the prime minister as “rioter”.

“Pune city BJP president has threatened to disturb our Nirbhay Bano meeting tomorrow evening at Sane Guruji Smarak, if police don’t ban the meeting. Friends, this meeting is against undeclared emergency. We need to save our democracy,” Wagle had said in a post on X on Thursday.

Meanwhile, speaking at the public programme, Wagle said, “I forgive all those who attacked me. I have been attacked six times earlier and this was the seventh.”

With agency inputs

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