Journalist Nikhil Wagle faced an attack on his vehicle by workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party while heading to a rally venue in Pune, Maharashtra. The incident occurred following alleged offensive remarks by Wagle against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and L.K. Advani in response to the Bharat Ratna award given to Advani.
Reports indicate that the BJP workers threw ink on the car carrying Wagle, along with human rights lawyer Aseem Sarode and activist Vishwambhar Choudhary, who were en route to the ‘Nirbhay Bano’ event organised by Rashtra Seva Dal. The protestors shattered the car’s window panes, resorted to physical violence, and threw various objects, including eggs and ink.
Post the event, Wagle reportedly forgave his attackers, stating that this was the seventh attack he has faced, reflecting on previous incidents of assault against him. Wagle’s son, Parth, confirmed that the attackers vandalized the car but fortunately, all occupants emerged unharmed despite the damage.
An FIR was lodged at Pune’s Vishrambaug police station after a complaint by local BJP leader Sunil Deodhar against Wagle for his contentious comments on Modi and Advani.
At the venue, Wagle reiterated his forgiveness towards the attackers and highlighted the tradition of resilience in Maharashtra, from historical figures like Shivaji Maharaj to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. He urged the audience to support Maha Vikas Aghadi in the forthcoming elections.
Following the incident, NCP leader Supriya Sule condemned the attack, emphasizing the importance of upholding freedom of speech amidst a deteriorating law and order situation in Maharashtra.
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