In the name of their Boss, Sena goons attack IBN TV channels
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A MOB of Shiv Sainiks attacked and vandalised the offices of Hindi and Marathi TV news channels IBN7 and IBN-Lokmat in Mumbai and Pune on Friday for what they said was criticism of the party and its chief Bal Thackeray after his recent comments against cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, returning to its traditional brand of violent politics in the aftermath of its poor show in the Assembly elections.
About 25 party activists barged into the common office of the two channels in suburban Vikhroli in the financial capital, armed with baseball bats, cricket stumps and iron rods. They broke glass facades, office equipment and assaulted some employees before fleeing the spot. In Pune, they attacked the outdoor broadcast van of the channels and damaged it, police said.
Witnesses in Mumbai said the attackers shouted that they would not accept any criticism or reports criticising the Shiv Sena. They also called out for IBN Lokmat's Editor-in-Chief Nikhil Wagle and manhandled him before the channel's employees clashed with the attackers and detained three of them in the melee. Police said they had arrested seven Shiv Sainiks and were looking for more. A sports editor and a graphic artist injured in the attack were admitted to hospital, IBN said.
The Sena owned up to the attack, with party MP and Editor of its mouthpiece Saamna, Sanjay Raut, saying that Wagle had used bad language while referring to Bal Thackeray over the last two days and this had incited Sena activists. "The attack on IBN is definitely by Shiv Sena workers and some of them are even office-bearers. The kind of statements and language used by Wagle against Balasaheb outraged Sainiks and this is the result," he told The Indian Express. "This is not an attack on journalism but a reaction to a perverted mindset. We are not afraid of the consequences and will face it."