Marathi daily’s editor attacked, six arrested (Second Lead)

June 6th, 2008 - 12:57 am ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, June 5 (IANS) Editor of Marathi daily Loksatta, Kumar Ketkar, escaped unhurt after a mob of around 70 people, calling themselves activists of the Shivsangram Sanghatana, attacked his home in Thane near here Thursday. Six people were later arrested, police said. Police said Ketkar and his family were at home when it was attacked but they escaped unhurt. They live in a ground floor flat in Hundiwala House in Thane East, abutting Mumbai.

The activists, who threw stones at the house and damaged furniture and fittings, were protesting against Ketkar’s recent editorials on Shivaji in the newspaper

The Thane police arrested six persons in connection with the attack. The six are said to be activists of little known Shivsangram Sanghatana, led by a local leader Vinayakrao Mete, a source close to the family told IANS.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil have condemned the attack on the senior journalist.

Deshmukh said the government would revive a committee, which was set up to prevent and tackle attacks on media persons. He also assured that the culprits involved in the Thursday morning attack on Ketkar would be dealt with strictly.

He was presiding over a function to felicitate senior journalist Bharat Kumar Raut, also a Rajya Sabha MP, on the 75th birthday of veteran journalist Vasant Deshpande.

Maharashtra Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary Vinod Tawade was among several leaders who called on Ketkar to express solidarity with him.

“The attack was pre-planned as the activists had come armed. I strongly condemn this attack on the fourth estate,” Tawade told reporters.

The incident has been widely condemned in the media in the state and elsewhere in the country.

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