Journalist killed in India, PEC demands a fair probe
By N.J. Thakuria
Geneva, 9 February 2023: Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), the global media safety and rights body, expresses shock over the killing of journalist Shashikant Warishe in Maharashtra and demands a fair probe to identify the culprit for punishment under the law. Warishe (48), who used to work for Marathi-language daily Mahanagari Times, was mowed down by a four-wheeler on Monday in Rajapur area following which he was rushed to a nearby hospital. The brave journalist succumbed to injuries on 7 February.
The committed journalist prepared a series of reports on the resistance by the local residents of Barsu locality against a petroleum refinery. On a fateful day, Warishe was riding his two-wheeler when a speeding SUV hit him and dragged him for some distance. A local land mafia dealer named Pandarinath Ambekar, whom Warishe described as a criminal in his media reports, was reportedly driving the four-wheeler. Maharashtra police have registered a murder case against Ambekar and promptly arrested him.
“Killing of a journalist because of his/her media report is in no way acceptable. In Shashikant Warishe’s case, he faced the brutal incident within hours of a published newspaper report against the accused. Maharashtra government must take the case seriously and punish the guilty,” said Blaise Lempen, president of PEC (www.pressemblem.ch), adding that Shashikant becomes the fourth journalist to be killed this year worldwide after Ashiqul Islam (Bangladesh), Martinez Zogo (Cameroun) and Michael Finlay (Canada).
PEC south-Asia representative Nava Thakuria reveals that India witnessed the murder of four journalists (Rohit Kumar Biswal, Sudhir Saini, Juned Khan Pathan, and Subhash Kumar Mahato) last year. Its neighbor Pakistan lost journalists Sadaf Naeem, Arshad Sharif, Muhammad Younis, Iftikhar Ahmed, Hasnain Shah, Murtaza Shar, and Athar Mateen in different incidents. Similarly, Bangladesh witnessed the killing of journalists Hashibur Rahaman Rubel, Mohiuddin Sarker Nayeem, and Abdul Bari as assailants, whereas Myanmar lost Aye Kyaw and Pu Tui Dim to military atrocities during 2022.