Outrage: Journalist Organizations Condemn Brutal Attack on Nikhil Wagle in Pune

New Delhi – Prominent journalist organizations have united in condemnation of a violent attack on senior journalist Mr. Nikhil Wagle by members of a political party in Pune on February 9. This incident adds to a concerning trend of attacks on journalists in India in recent years, reflecting a growing intolerance towards the media’s fundamental role in upholding democratic values and freedom of expression.

The assault on journalist Nikhil Wagle and two others allegedly occurred at the hands of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers in Pune, following a FIR filed against Wagle for his critical remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP leader LK Advani. This incident has sparked widespread outrage and calls for accountability from journalist organizations.

In a joint statement, Gautam Lahiri, President of the Press Club of India, alongside representatives from the Indian Women’s Press Corps and the Press Association, emphasized the urgent need for accountability and justice in response to the attack. The organizations expressed shock and outrage at the escalation of violence against journalists, highlighting the detrimental impact on the fabric of democracy.

Additionally, the journalist organizations called for the withdrawal of severe charges brought against Mr. Wagle under criminal laws, including accusations of promoting enmity, mischief, and defamation. They urged the Maharashtra government to take decisive action against the perpetrators of the attack, emphasizing that impunity for such acts of violence only emboldens further assaults on press freedom.

The call for authorities to send a strong message that violence against journalists will not be tolerated reflects a broader push for the protection of press freedom and the accountability of those responsible for such attacks. This incident underscores the crucial role of media in fostering an environment where differing opinions, particularly in politics, are respected and subject to constructive dialogue rather than violent reprisal.

As attacks on journalists continue to pose a threat to press freedom in India, it is essential for the government and law enforcement to address these incidents promptly and effectively, ensuring that those responsible are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Without such action, the safety and freedom of journalists and the media at large remain at risk.