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Press Statement


August 28, 2004 


Second attack on journalist in Maharsahtra

No action by the Maharashtra police 

Editor of Aapla Mahanagar, Nikhil Wagle was Brutally attack today and narrowly escaped being burnt alive when a group of Shiv Saniks inspired by the Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Mr. Narayan Rane assaulted him and two others at Malvan in Konkan-the western cost of Maharashtra today August 28, 2004  

The attack took place at about 8.15 am. Mr. Wagle’s colleague Mr. Yuvraj Mohite and Mr. Pramod Nigudkar were also seriously injured until the time we are releasing the statement (2 pm on Saturday) No action is been taken on the attackers by the Malvan Police. Mr. Wagle and his colleague were attack after conducting a workshop for local activists yesterday.

Mr. Wagle and his colleague have refused any treatment until those responsible for the attack have been apprehended.

The attack on Mr. Wagle is the second serious attempted on the lives of the journalist in Maharashtra. Only four days ago, on Tuesday August 24 Mr. Sajid Rashid, editor of Hamara Mahanagar was brutally attacked

Muslim fanatics attack editor, Sajid Rashid

Since early July, a notoriously communal Mumbai daily, Urdu Times, has been carrying out a hate campaign Against Mr. Rashid and repeated representation to the Mumbai Police Commission, Mr. A N Roy on July 20, 2004 and then again on 17/18 August of 2004 no action is been action has been taken the Mumbai Police against those who attack Mr Sajid Rashid. Mr. Rashid was stabbed brutally on his back by two attackers around 10 p.m. on August 24, 2004. He is no recuperating in the hospital.

We urge you to protest strongly against the attack and put pressure on the Maharashtra government to arrest those guilty of the attack as well as those who insight persons into such violence.

MSD is being targeted because it has asked for an end to the obnoxious triple talaq (instant divorce) system and gender justice apart raising other issues for discussion within the Muslim community.

The office bearers of MSD include Javed Akhtar (poet and lyricist),

Hasan Kamal (former editor, Urdu Blitz, columnist and lyricist), 

Sajid Rashid (editor, Hindi eveninger, Hamara Mahanagar and chairperson, Maharashtra State Urdu Academy) and Javed Anand (co-editor, Communalism Combat).

While attacking MSD as an organisation, Urdu Times has made a special target of Sajid Rashid who is the most vulnerable as he lives in the heart of a Muslim predominant locality in Mumbai. Rashid as chairperson of the Urdu Academy has organised a seminar in Mumbai in June 2004 at which some issues raised were unnecessarily raked up to provide grounds for the instigation.

On July 20, 2004, a delegation of MSD members, journalists-cum-human rights activists like Teesta Setalvad and Nikhil Wagle and Maharashtra Urdu Writers Association, met the Mumbai police commissioner, AN Roy, to demand immediate action against Urdu Times for inciting violence.

A written memorandum handed over by the delegation clearly told the police commissioner that we had serious apprehensions of physical attack and therefore the police must initiate immediate action to restrain the police.

On August 16, 2004 Sajid Rashid filed a personal complaint with the Dongri police station, to say among other things that he feared he was being followed. On August 17, the police commissioner was apprised of the latest development and his intervention urged.

Its shocking, to say the least, that the Mumbai police did nothing to restrain the Urdu Times and on the night of August 24, a murderous attack was launched on Rashid. Fortunate to have survived, Rashid is recuperating at KEM Hospital in Mumbai. But the Mumbai police must account for its inaction and the license that it has given to the Urdu Times to preach murder.

For full details please call Javed Anand [9870402556] or Teesta Setalvad [9821314172]