Peoples’ Media Initiative (PMI) strongly condemns Shiv Sena for the dastardly attack on Ibn-Lokmat’s Mumbai and Pune office. The attackers ransacked Mumbai office and injured four journalists including women journalists. A group of around 25 Shiv Sainiks barged into the office with cricket stumps and hockey sticks. They were on rampage for about 45 minutes. They damaged furniture, computers etc. Ibn-Lokmat staffers’ contacted police but, as usual, they reached late.
The attackers were giving slogans in favour of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and they abused Ibn-Lokmat. It is not for the first time that Shiv Sainiks attacked women journalists. In early ‘90s Shiv Sainiks brutally attacked two women journalists when they were returning home from a journalist’s demonstration held outside Sena Bhavan, Dadar.
Shiv Sainiks tried to attack Nikhil Wagle, editor of Ibn-Lokmat But; Lokmat staffers cordoned him and saved him. This is an attack on freedom of expression and speech.
The State Government must act firmly against the culprits. The track record of Maharashtra Government is dismal. Many incidences of attacks on journalists have taken place in last couple of years with virtually no action.
The journalist community will, once again, oppose the fascist attack. Peace loving people of Mumbai and Maharashtra should come out openly and condemn Shiv Sena’s goondagiri.
(Jatin Desai)Secretary, PMI