Journalist Nikhil Wagle’s car was attacked on Friday allegedly by BJP workers in Pune while he was on his way to attend an event, officials said. They were protesting his remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and LK Advani after the BJP patriarch was awarded the Bharat Ratna.
A Deccan police station official said BJP workers threw ink on the car in which Mr Wagle and two others, Aseem Sarode and Vishwambhar Choudhary, were travelling under police protection to the ‘Nirbhay Bano’ event organised by Rashtra Seva Dal.
Visuals showed BJP workers mobbing the car at Khandoji Baba Chowk and vandalising it, damaging the vehicle’s windscreen and side panes.
Mr Wagle managed to reach the venue under police protection, the official added.
Addressing the ‘Nirbhay Bano’ event, Nikhil Wagle said, “I forgive all those who attacked me. I have been attacked six times earlier and this was the seventh.”
Workers from the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena and the Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi were engaged in a standoff outside the Rashtra Seva Dal premises earlier, with protesters saying they would now allow Mr Wagle to speak.
Earlier in the day, a case was registered against Mr Wagle in Pune for allegedly making offensive remarks against the PM and LK Advani.
“Nikhil Wagle has been charged under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 500 (defamation) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Vishrambaug police station. We are probing the matter further,” the official said.
Senior BJP leader Sunil Deodhar filed a complaint against the 64-year-old journalist on Tuesday over the controversial comments, he said.
The senior journalist made the allegedly defamatory remarks on X against PM Modi and LK Advani after the Centre announced that the latter would be conferred with the Bharat Ratna.
Pune BJP had requested the police to deny permission to the ‘Nirbhay Bano’ event.
Shiv Sena’s Pune city president Pramod Bhangire said they were not opposing the event but only Mr Wagle’s participation.
“We condemn Nikhil Wagle’s remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP veteran LK Advani. By making such remarks in his social media posts, he has created a rift between communities,” Mr Bhangire said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)