Marathi journalist death: Journalist association to hold protest in Maharashtra

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RATNAGIRI: Journalist associations of Maharashtra will protest across the state outside tehsil and district headquarters with black armbands against the alleged murder of a journalist on February 7.

“On 10th February, Journalists will protest across Maharashtra at their respective places outside Tehsil or District HQs with Black armbands. And then they will give a memorandum to Tehsildar or Collector.”

TVJA, Mumbai press club, Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh, BNP (Bombay news photographer association), and Mumbai crime reporter association will be holding the protest today.

Marathi journalist, Shashikant Warishe was killed in a road accident, hours after his against the proposed Nanar refinery in Ratnagiri was published following the arrest of an office-bearer of a group backing the refinery was arrested.

On Monday, journalist Warish was standing near a petrol pump on the Rajapur highway when the accused allegedly ran him over with his car. The vehicle reportedly dragged Warish for several meters under the wheels before coming to a halt, the police said.

“When people rushed to help, the accused fled from the spot and Varishe was lying unconscious on the road. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment but succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday morning,” he added.

Recently, Warish carried a report describing Ambekar as a ‘criminal’ and highlighted photographs where he is seen in the same frame with the Chief Minister and Prime Minister.

Ambekar, a leader of the local land mafia, was known to threaten and harass those who resisted any land acquisition on behalf of the upcoming refinery.

Ratnagiri Superintendent of Police Dhananjay Kulkarni said that the accused was arrested and produced before the court, which sent him to police custody till February 13.

“Police said that as soon as we came to know about the incident, we swung into action and by late evening traced the accused and arrested him. We produced him in the court on Tuesday morning,” he added.

Ratnagiri’s Rajapur police had initially registered a culpable homicide not amounting to murder, but later the police added IPC section 302 against accused Ambarkar.

Maharashtra’s opposition leader Ajit Pawar while taking note of the matter, said, “This case should be investigated, what actually happened, if it was done intentionally then who is the mastermind of it, all these angles should be investigated.”

The Mumbai Press Club has also demanded to order for a “wide-ranging” probe into the murder.

“Though the local police have arrested the assassin Ambekar, there is a need for the Maharashtra Government to order a wide-ranging probe into the murder. This must include investigating a possible conspiracy, which may involve corporate elements, to strangle the local opposition to the refinery,” the statement by the club said.

“The Mumbai Press Club demands that the killing be probed from all angles and that Pandarinath Ambekar, as well as those who have possibly conspired with him to carry out the killing, be brought to book. The Club also demands that Warishe’s family be provided with protection during the investigation period and fair compensation for the murder of the breadwinner,” it further said. (ANI)

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