Journalist Nikhil Wagle Survives Brazen Attack in Pune; Political Backlash Erupts

In a disturbing turn of events, veteran journalist Nikhil Wagle's car became the target of an attack allegedly carried out by BJP workers in Pune's Deccan area. The incident, which occurred on Friday, has ignited a fierce political debate and raised concerns about the safety of journalists and the state of free speech in the country.

According to reports, unknown assailants hurled ink at Wagle's car while he was en route to address the "Nirbhay Bano" rally organized by Rashtra Seva Dal. The attack left the car's windscreen and side panes damaged, marking yet another instance of aggression against the outspoken journalist.

In a display of remarkable resilience, Nikhil Wagle, who has faced similar attacks in the past, chose to extend forgiveness to his assailants. "I forgive all those who attacked me. I have been attacked six times earlier, and this was the seventh," Wagle stated, highlighting the alarming frequency with which he has been targeted for his views.

The catalyst for the attack allegedly stems from remarks made by Wagle against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and veteran leader LK Advani following the announcement that the latter would be honoured with the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award. Subsequently, a case was registered against Wagle based on a complaint filed by BJP leader Sunil Deodhar, accusing the journalist of defamation and inciting enmity between groups.

The incident has drawn strong condemnation from opposition parties, with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leading the charge. NCP MP Supriya Sule condemned the attack, questioning the BJP's role and accusing them of fostering an environment of violence. Sule expressed deep concern over the safety of innocent bystanders, including young girls, who were injured during the assault.

"Did anyone order the police not to take action on this occasion? Who gave license to the BJP to openly riot in such a manner?" Sule questioned, emphasizing the need to uphold democratic values and preserve the tradition of respectful discourse.

The attack on Nikhil Wagle's car serves as a stark reminder of the growing polarization and intolerance that continue to plague the political landscape. As calls for accountability and justice mount, the incident underscores the imperative of safeguarding freedom of expression and ensuring the safety of journalists who dare to speak truth to power.

In the face of adversity, Nikhil Wagle's unwavering resolve and commitment to journalistic integrity stand as a beacon of hope, inspiring others to confront injustice and uphold the principles of democracy.

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