Heavy-Handed Police Action in Pune Following Attack on Journalist Nikhil Wagle; Police Book 250 People So Far Regarding Attack
Pune: Yesterday, Pune saw a violent attack on renowned journalist Nikhil Wagle’s car, which has further amplify safety and security questions among people in Pune city. However, Pune police swiftly responded to the incident, taking decisive action by registering a complaint against 10 to 15 activists affiliated with the BJP, Shiv Sena, and the Nationalist Congress Party. The perpetrators allegedly pelted stones and eggs at Wagle’s car, along with organisers of the ‘Nirbhay Bano Sabha’ (Be Fearless), leaving the veteran journalist’s vehicle vandalised and shattered.
Activist Shraddha Jadhav stepped forward to file a formal complaint at the Parvati police station, prompting authorities to initiate legal proceedings against identified individuals involved in the violent assault. Among those named in the complaint are Deepak Pote, Ganesh Ghosh, Ganesh Sherla, and several others, whose actions were captured on CCTV footage meticulously examined by the police.
The attack unfolded following Wagle’s participation as a guest speaker at a seminar titled ‘Nirbhay Bano’ (Be Fearless), held at the Rashtra Seva Dal Hall in Parvati. However, tensions soared when Wagle made scathing remarks against senior BJP leader L. K. Advani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, drawing vehement threats of disruption from local BJP leaders and activists.
A group of agitators strategically positioned themselves at various locations across the city, intent on preventing Wagle from attending the event. Despite police efforts to divert Wagle’s route, the assailants intercepted his car near the Sena Datta police station, where they launched a violent assault, hurling projectiles at the vehicle and causing extensive damage.
Fortunately, Wagle did not receive any injuries, thanks to prompt police intervention that ensured his safe evacuation from the scene. However, his car was heavily vandalised, and the glass of the car was completely broken.
In response to the incident, police constable Anirudh Anerao lodged a secondary complaint at the Parvati police station, resulting in additional legal action against a group of over 250 individuals, including prominent political figures and activists implicated in the attack.
In this regard, police registered cases against 250 people, including Nandkumar Gajanan Nage, Utpal Baburao Chandawar, Santosh Babasaheb Patole, Arvind Shinde, Sanjay More, Nikhil Wagle, Dheeraj Ghate, Pramod Kondhare, Rahul Surve, Yogesh Shandilya, Anirudh Kokane, Appasaheb Ghanwat, Amar Hingmire, Ashish Kante, Omkar Kedari, Sachiket Tikam, Rajesh Yenpure, Pushkar Tuljapurkar, Suraj Durve, Sunny Pawar, Bharat Nizampurkar, Yogesh Samble, Aba Shilimkar, Surendra Thakur, and many others.
The fallout from this incident has reverberated across the political spectrum, with accusations flying between the BJP, NCP, Shiv Sena factions, and other organizations. Meanwhile, cases have been registered against several individuals and groups for defying orders and engaging in unlawful protests.