The demise of a journalist in Maharashtra has triggered shock, anger and calls for for an investigation. Shashikant Warishe, 48, was run over at a petroleum station in Ratnagiri on Tuesday, a day after he wrote an expose on a controversial refinery venture in Konkan. The man allegedly driving the SUV was Pandharinath Amberkar, a land vendor who had featured in his article on Monday.
Mr Warishe died in a hospital. Amberkar, 42, has been arrested and charged with homicide. He was initially charged with culpable murder.
Mr Warishe’s Monday article within the Mahanagari Times had described Amberkar as a “criminal” who had been photographed with prime leaders like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis.
Amberkar is alleged to be a supporter of the Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemical venture that Shashikant Warishe had written about in a sequence of articles in Marathi newspapers.
Several media organisations have demanded a probe into Mr Warishe’s demise, alleging that he was killed due to his tales on the multi-billion-dollar venture that has been strongly opposed by many locals over land acquisition.
In an announcement final night, the Mumbai Press Club stated the “brutal, public murder” delivered to gentle the “plummeting standards of civil liberties and free speech and brazen attempt by both state and non-state players to crush any media reporting that proves to be inconvenient.”
Mr Warishe had written a number of studies highlighting “the local resistance to a petroleum refinery in Barsu” and had just lately identified banners the place Amberkar featured alongside the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister, the assertion stated.
“Amberkar, 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,” the Mumbai Press Club alleged.
A bunch of Marathi journalists additionally met with Devendra Fadnavis, who’s Maharashtra’s Home Minister, to press for an investigation.
The Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemical venture, earlier deliberate at Nanar village in Ratnagiri district in coastal Konkan, was scrapped earlier than the 2019 nationwide election on the occasion of the Shiv Sena, which was then in an alliance with the ruling BJP.
The Centre final 12 months hinted at reviving the venture at one other web site.
Rights organisation People’s Union For Civil Liberties (PUCL) has known as for a “totally independent” probe “free of any influence” and safety for the journalist’s household and witnesses.