Second FIR filed against journalist Nikhil Wagle for violating police notice

BJP workers booked for attacking journalist’s vehicle, throwing ink

Published - February 11, 2024 01:06 am IST - Pune

Nikhil Wagle. File.

Nikhil Wagle. File. | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

A second First Information Report (FIR) has been lodged senior against journalist Nikhil Wagle for allegedly disobeying the notice issued by the Pune City Police to Mr. Wagle and the organisers of a programme held at the city’s Rashtra Seva Dal premises, police authorities said on Saturday.

The same FIR has also charged the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Pune unit chief, Dhiraj Ghate, along with hundreds of BJP workers, as well as Congress party city chief Arvind Shinde and Nationalist Congress Party-Sharadchandra Pawar leader Prashant Jagtap, along with Sanjay More of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena faction for illegally gathering at the venue of the ‘Nirbhay Bano’ programme where Mr. Wagle was a speaker.

Earlier, on Friday, the city BJP unit had filed a complaint against Mr. Wagle for allegedly making offensive remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani after the latter was awarded the Bharat Ratna, following which an FIR — booked under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) of the Indian Penal Code, among others — had been lodged against the journalist.

Later, on Friday evening, BJP workers attempted to prevent Mr. Wagle from speaking at the programme, while damaging the car in which he was travelling to attend the programme by pelting stones at it.

The journalist, a critic of the Modi regime, delivered his speech at the event, which also saw the participation of NCP (Sharad Pawar faction) MLA Rohit Pawar.

Later, the new FIR was lodged against Mr. Wagle by a police constable from the city’s Parvati Police Station, accusing him and the organisers of the ‘Nirbhay Bano’ programme, which included a Congress office-bearer, of violating the police notice issued to them.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Sambhaji Kadam said that permission had not been granted for the ‘Nirbhay Bano’ programme.

“We had issued notices to the organisers of the programme and Mr. Wagle, but they violated the notice. Hence, they have been booked in an FIR,” Mr. Kadam said.

A separate FIR was lodged against BJP office-bearers for pelting stones on the vehicle in which Mr. Wagle was travelling.

The FIR, filed on a complaint by activist Shraddha Jadhav, alleged that BJP workers attacked and threw ink on the activists trying to protect Mr. Wagle.

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