New Delhi: Journalist organizations are raising their voice against the recent attack on senior journalist Nikhil Wagle by members of a political party in Pune, India. The attack, which took place on February 9, has sparked condemnation from press clubs and other journalist associations. This incident is part of a concerning trend, reflecting a growing intolerance towards the media and its role in upholding democratic values and freedom of expression in the country.
Nikhil Wagle and two others were assaulted by alleged Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers in Pune. The attack came after an FIR was filed against Wagle for his comments regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP leader LK Advani. In response, journalist organizations, including the Press Club of India and the Indian Women’s Press Corps, have called for accountability and justice in the matter.
The escalation of violence against journalists in India has raised serious concerns about the state of democracy and the freedom of the press. The organizations have emphasized the need to create an environment where differing opinions, especially in politics, are respected and subject to constructive dialogue rather than violent reprisal. They are also calling for the withdrawal of severe charges brought against Wagle under criminal laws, including accusations of promoting enmity, mischief, and defamation.
Furthermore, the journalist organizations are urging the Maharashtra government to take decisive action against the perpetrators of the attack. They believe that impunity for such acts of violence only emboldens further assaults on press freedom. It is crucial for the authorities to send a strong message that violence against journalists will not be tolerated and that those responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. The need for accountability and justice in this matter is being strongly emphasized by prominent journalist organisations.