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Maharashtra: Protest Held in Ratnagiri Against Scribe’s ‘Killing’; Demand to Invoke MCOCA

NCP supremo Sharad Pawar says law and order is worsening in the state.

Image Courtesy: Deccan Herald

Mumbai: Several hundred journalists on Saturday held a protest in Ratnagiri in Maharashtra against the murder of their colleague Shashikant Warishe earlier this week.

Warishe (48) was mowed down by an SUV allegedly driven by land dealer Pandharinath Amberkar on February 6 in Rajapur in Ratnagiri, some 440 kilometres from here, and died in hospital the next day.

Amberkar, arrested for murder, allegedly used to threaten any person who opposed land acquisition for a proposed refinery in the area.

An article written by Warishe against Amberkar had appeared in a local Marathi newspaper on the morning of the incident.

The protests were held from 11:30 a.m outside the tehsildar's office, with journalists taking part along with activists of Barsu Solgaon Panchakroshi Refinery Virodhi Sanghatna', which has been opposing the proposed refinery, and members of the 'Kunabi Samaj'.

The protest went on till 2 p.m after which those taking part submitted a memorandum at the tehsildar's office.

They sought slapping of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against the accused, as well as trial in a fast track court under a specially appointed public prosecutor.

The protesters also said the state government must pay Rs 50 lakh as compensation to the kin of Warishe.

On Friday, journalists from Mumbai had protested near Mantralaya in the south of the metropolis against the murder.

In Nashik, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on expressed worry over the alleged murder of journalist Shashikant Warishe and said the law and order situation in Maharashtra was worsening while the seriousness of those in power was in doubt.

"The Warishe case is a serious issue. Accidents and murders in the state are on the rise. The law and order situation in the state is worsening. There are doubts how much those having responsibility for the law and order situation take this seriously,” Pawar told reporters here.

The home portfolio in the Eknath Shinde government is handled by deputy chief minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Devendra Fadnavis.

In Mumbai, Fadnavis said a special investigation team will be set up to probe the alleged murder of Warishe in Ratnagiri district earlier this week.

A statement released from Fadnavis' office said the police administration in the state has been directed to set up the SIT.

The SIT will be headed by a high-ranking official, the statement from the Deputy CM's office said.

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